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TO11X 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 
IN CANADA 



PLATE I. 




THE AUTHOR 



of flat* ffitfr 
in fflmraha 

Wild Flowers, Flowering Shrubs, and Grasses 



BY 

MRS. C. P. TRAILL 

Author of "The Backwoods of Canada," " Canadian Crusoes/ 

"Pearls and Pebbles: Notes of an Old 

Naturalist," etc., etc. 



NEW AND REVISED EDITION 



Illustrated with 8 reproductions in natural colors and 12 half-tone 
engravings, from drawings by Mrs. Agnes D. Chamberlin. 



TORONTO: 
WILLIAM BRIGGS 

1906 



Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the 
year one thousand nine hundred and six, by 

AGNES D. CHAMBBRLIN, 
at the Department of Agriculture. 



TO 
HER EXCELLENCY 

(Enuntrss 0f 

THIS BOOK IS BY HER KIND PERMISSION 

RESPECTFULLY AND GRATEFULLY 

DEDICATED 



PREFACE 



THIS little work on the flowers and native plants of 
Central Canada is offered to the Canadian public .with the 
hope that it may prove a means of awakening a love for the 
natural productions of the country, and a desire to acquire 
more knowledge of its resources. It is not a book for the 
learned. The aim of the writer is simply to show the real 
pleasure that may be obtained from a habit of observing 
what is offered to the eye of the traveller, whether by the 
wayside path, among the trees of the forest, in the fields, or 
on the shores of lake and river. Even to know the common 
name of a flower or fern is something added to our stock of 
knowledge, and inclines us to wish to know something beyond 
the mere name. Curiosity is awakened, and from this first 
step we go on to seek for higher knowledge, which may be 
found in works of a class far above what the writer of the 
present book can aspire to offer to the reader. The writer- 
has adopted a familiar style in her descriptions of the plants,., 
thinking it might prove more useful and interesting to the 
general reader, especially to the young, and thus find a placer 
on the book-shelves of many who would only regard it for 
the sake of its being a pretty, attractive volume, on account 
of the illustrations. These, indeed, are contributed by the 
pencil of a gifted and accomplished lady, Mrs. Agnes 

vii 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

Chamberlin, a beloved relative, to whose artistic taste and 
talents the author is greatly indebted. She is conscious 
that many imperfections will be found in this volume, the 
contents of which have been written at intervals during a 
long series of years, many of which were marked by trials 
such as fell to the lot of the early colonists and backwoods 
settlers, and others of a more afflicting nature, which 
required patience and faith to bear and to say, " Thy will 
be done, O Lord." 

There is a common little weed that is known by the familiar 
name of Carpetweed, a small Polygonum, that grows at our 
doors and often troubles us to root up, from its persevering 
habits and wiry roots. It is crushed by the foot and bruised, 
but springs up again as if unharmed beneath our tread, and 
flourishes under all circumstances, however adverse. This 
little plant had lessons to teach me, and gave courage when 
trials pressed hard upon me. The simplest weed may thus 
give strength if we use the lesson rightly and look up to 
Him who has pointed us to that love which has clothed the 
grass of the field and cared for the preservation of even the 
lowliest of the herbs and weeds. Will He not also care for 
the creature made in His own image? Such are the teachings 
which Christ gave when on earth. Such teachings are still 
taught by the flowers of the field. 

Mothers of Canada, teach your children to know and love 
the wild flowers springing in their path, to love the soil in 
which God's hand has planted them, and in all their after 
wanderings through the world their hearts will turn back 
with loving reverence to the land of their birth, to that dear 

viii 



PREFACE 

country, endeared to them by the remembrance of the wild 
flowers which they plucked in the happy days of childhood. 

As civilization extends through the Dominion and the cul- 
tivation of the tracts of forest land and prairie destroys the 
native trees and the plants that are sheltered by them, many 
of our beautiful wild flowers, shrubs and ferns will, in the 
course of time, disappear from the face of the earth and be 
forgotten. It seems a pity that no record of their beauties 
and uses should be preserved; and as there is no national 
botanical garden in Canada where collections of the most 
remarkable of our native plants might be cultivated and 
rescued from oblivion, any addition to the natural history of 
the country that supplies this want is therefore not without 
its value to the literature and advancement of the country, 
and it is hoped that it may prove valuable to the incoming 
immigrant who makes Canada an abiding home. 

The author takes this opportunity of acknowledging the 
kind and invaluable assistance which she has received from 
her friend, Mr. James Fletcher, of the Dominion Library, and 
the encouragement to her labors by Professor Macoun's 
opinion of the usefulness of her work on the vegetable pro- 
ductions of the country. She has also to acknowledge the 
benefit derived from the pamphlet on the " Canadian Forest 
Trees," by her respected friend, Dr. Hurlburt. Mr. Fletcher, 
with that zeal for his favorite study which has already won 
for him so high a place among the naturalists of Canada, and 
that kindness which shrinks from no trouble and has won 
him so many friends, accepted the drudgery of revising the 
work and seeing it through the press. 



IX 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

The Wild or Native Flowers and Flowering Shrubs are 
arranged, as a general rule, in the order of time in which they 
appear in the woods ; but it has been thought that by group- 
ing them somewhat in families, especially where only a short 
mention is made of some species, it would be easier to refer 
to them than if this order were strictly adhered to. 

C. P. T. 

LAKEFIELD, 1885. 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



PLATE I. Frontispiece. 

Portrait of the Author. 

PLATE II. P. 8. 

Wood Anemone (Anemone Nemorosa). 
Sharp-lobed Hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba). 
Spring Beauty (Claytonia Virginica). 
Large-flowered Bell wort (Uvularia grandiflora). 

PLATE III. P. 18. 

Large White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum). 

Rock Columbine (Aquilegia Canadensis). 

Yellow Adder's Tongue (Erythronium Americanum). 

PLATE IV. P. 24. 

Blood Root (Sanguinaria Canadensis). 
Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides). 

PLATE V. P. 30. 

Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris). 
Wild Lupine (Lupinus perennis). 

PLATE VI. P. 36. 

Wood Geranium (Geranium maculatum). 
Purple Trillium (Trillium erectum). 
Squirrel Corn (Dicentra Canadensis). 
Star Flower (Trientalis Americana). 

PLATE VII. P. 48, 

Scarlet Painted Cup (Castilleia coccinea). 
Showy Orchis (Orchis spectabilis). 
Indian Turnip (Arissema triphyllum). 
Coneflower (Rudbeckia hirta). 

PLATE VIII. P. 56. 

False Mitre wort (Tiarella cordifolia). 
May-apple (Podophyllum peltatum). 



STUDIES OP PLANT LIFE 

PLATE IX. P. 66. 

Painted Trillium (Trillium erythrocarpum). 
Wild Lily of the Valley (Smilacina bifolia). 
Flowering Wintergreen (Polygala paucifolia). 

PLATE X. P. 76. 

Arrow-head (Sagittaria variabilis). 
Great Lobelia (Lobelia syphilitica). 
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis). 

PLATE XL P. 84. 

Four-leaved Loose-Strife (Lysimachia quadrifolia). 
Marsh Vetchling (Lathyrus palustris). 

PLATE XII. P. 96. 

False Fox-glove (Gerardia quercifolia). 
Turtle-head (Chelone glabra). 
Dragon-head (Physostigia Virginiana). 

PLATE XIII. P. 120. 

Showy Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium spectabile). 

Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia). 

Wild Orange Lily (Lilium Philadelphicum). 

PLATE XIV. P. 144. 

Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea.) 

PLATE XV. P. 160. 

Sweet-Scented Water- Lily (Nymphsea odorata). 
Yellow Pond Lily (Nuphar advena). 

PLATE XVI. P. 172. 

Daphne Mezereum. 

PLATE XVII. P. 184. 

American Brooklime (Veronica Americana). 
Purple Scented Raspberry (Rubus odoratus). 
One-flowered Pyrola (Moneses uniflora). 
Shin-leaf (Pyrola elliptica). 

PLATE XVIII. P. 192. 

Trailing Arbutus (Epigaea repens). 

PLATE XIX. P. 200. 

Strawberry Blite (Blitum capitatum). 

PLATE XX. P. 208. 

Early Wild Rose (Rosa blanda). 
Beard Tongue (Pentstemon pubescens). 



INTRODUCTION 



" There's nothing left to chance below ; 

The Great Eternal cause 
Has made all beauteous order flow 
From settled laws." 

EVERY plant, flower, and tree has a simple history of its 
own, not without its interest if we would read it aright. It 
forms a page in the great volume of Nature which lies open 
before us, and without it there would be a blank ; in Nature 
there is no space left unoccupied. 

We watch on some breezy day in summer one of the 
winged seeds of the thistle or dandelion taking its flight 
upward and onward, and we know not where it will alight, 
and we see not the wisdom of Him 

" Who whirls the blowballs' new-fledged pride 

In mazy rings on high, 
Whose downy pinions once untied 
Must onward fly. 

" Each is commissioned, could we trace 

The voyage to each decreed, 
To convey to some barren place 
A pilgrim seed." 

Agnes Strickland. 

When the writer of the little volume now offered to the 
Canadian public first settled in the then unbroken back- 
woods on the borders of the Katchewanook, just where the 
upper waters of a chain of lakes narrow into the rapids of 
the wildly beautiful Otonabee, that section of the province 

xiii 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

was an unbroken wilderness. There was no road opened, 
even for the rudest vehicle, on the Douro side of the lakes, 
and to gain her new home the authoress had to cross the 
river at Auburn, travel through the newly cut road in the 
opposite township, and again cross over the Otonabee at 
the head of the rapids in a birch-bark canoe. There was at 
that period no other mode of connection with the northern 
part of the Township of Douro. Now a branch railroad 
from Peterboro' terminates in the flourishing village where 
once the writer wandered among the forest pines looking 
for wild flowers and ferns. 

As to the roads, one might say, with the Highland 

traveller, 



" Had you but seen these roads before they were made, 
You'd have lift up your hands and have blessed General Wade." 

The only habitations, beyond our own log cabin, at the 
date of which I write, were one shanty and the log house of 
a dear, lamented and valued brother, the enterprising 
pioneer and founder of the prosperous village of Lakefield. 

It may easily be imagined that there were few objects of 
interest in the woods at that distant period of time 1832 
or as a poor Irish woman sorrowfully remarked, " ? Tis a 
lonesome place for the likes of us poor women folk; sure 
there isn't a hap'orth worth the looking at; there is no- 
nothing, and it's hard to get the bit and the sup to ate and 
to drink." 

Well, I was better off than poor Biddy Fagan, for I soon 
found beauties in my woodland wanderings, in the un- 
known trees and plants of the forest. These things became 
a great resource, and every flower and shrub and forest 
tree awakened an interest in my mind, so that I began to- 

xiv 



INTRODUCTION 

thirst for a more intimate knowledge of them. They became 
like dear friends, soothing and cheering, by their sweet 
unconscious influence, hours of loneliness and hours of 
sorrow and suffering. 

Having never made botany a study, and having no one 
to guide and assist me, it was acquiring knowledge under 
difficulties, by observation only; but the eye and the ear 
are good teachers, and memory is a great storehouse, in 
which are laid up things new and old which may be drawn 
out for use in after years. It is a book the leaves of which 
can be turned over and read from childhood to old age 
without weariness. 

Having experienced the need of some familiar work 
giving the information respecting the names and habits 
and uses of the native plants, I early conceived the idea of 
turning the little knowledge which I gleaned from time to 
time to supplying a book which I had felt the great want 
of myself; but I hesitated to enter the field when all I 
had gathered had been from merely studying the subject 
without any regular systematic knowledge of botany. The 
only book that I had access to was an old edition of 
" North American Flora," by that industrious and in- 
teresting botanist, Frederick Pursh. This work was lent 
to me by a friend, the only person I knew who had paid 
any attention to botany as a study, and to whom I was 
deeply indebted for many hints and for the cheering in- 
terest that she always took in my writings, herself possess- 
ing the advantages of a highly cultivated mind, educated 
and trained in the society of persons of scientific and 
literary notoriety in the Old Country. Mrs. Stewart was 
a member of the celebrated Edgeworth family. Pursh's 
" Flora," unfortunately for me, was written chiefly in 



XV 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

Latin. This was a drawback in acquiring the information 
I required; however, I did manage to make some use of 
the book, and when I came to a standstill I had recourse 
to my husband, and there being a glossary of the common 
names, as well as one of the botanical, I contrived to get 
a familiar knowledge of both. 

My next teachers were old settlers' wives, and choppers 
and Indians. These gave me knowledge of another kind, 
and so by slow steps, and under many difficulties, I gleaned 
my plant-lore. Having, as I have said, no resource in 
botanical works on our native flora, save what I could 
glean from Pursh, I was compelled to rely almost entirely 
upon my own powers of observation. This did much ta 
enhance my interest in my adopted country and add to 
my pleasure as a relief, at times, from the home-longings 
that always arise in the heart of the exile, especially when 
the sweet opening days of Spring recall to the memory of 
the immigrant Canadian settler old familiar scenes, when 
the hedges put out their green buds, and the Violets scent 
the air; when pale Primroses and the gay starry Celandine 
gladden the eye, and the little green lanes and wood-paths 
are so pleasant to ramble through among the Daisies and 
Bluebells and Buttercups; when all the gay embroidery 
of English meads and hedgerows put on their bright array. 
But for the Canadian forest flowers and trees and shrubs, 
and the lovely ferns and mosses, I think I should not 
have been as contented as I have been away from dear old 
England. It was in the hope of leading other lonely hearts 
to enjoy the same pleasant recreation that I have so often 
pointed out the natural beauties of this country to their 
attention, and now present my forest gleanings to them in a 
simple form, trusting that it may not prove an unacceptable 



XVI 



INTRODUCTION 

addition to the literature of Canada, and that it may become 
a household book, as Gilbert White's Natural History of 
Selborne is to this day among English readers. And now at 
the age of eighty-three years, fifty-two of which have been 
spent in the fair province of Ontario, in her far forest home 
on the banks of the rapid Otonabee, the writer lays down her 
pen, with earnest prayers for the prosperity of this her 
much beloved adopted country, that with the favor and 
blessing of our God it may become the glory of all lands. 

LAKEFIELD, ONT, 1884. 



ACKNOWLEDGMENT 



Mrs. Chamberlin gratefully acknowledges the advice and 
encouragement given to her in the preparation of this work 
by the Dominion Botanist, Professor John Macoun, F.C.S., 
F.R.S.C., and by the Assistant Botanist, James M. Macoun, 
C.M.G.; and also gladly embraces the opportunity afforded 
in this preface of extending her sincere thanks to Dr. James 
Fletcher, the well-known entomologist and botanist, who in 
the midst of the pressing duties of his position was kind 
enough to undertake the correction of the proofs of this 
present edition of PLANT LIFE IN CANADA. 

Mrs. Chamberlin also makes grateful acknowledgment of 
the valuable assistance given her by her daughter, Mrs. 
Geraldine Moodie, in photographing the paintings from 
\vhich the plates used in the present edition were taken. 

LAKEFIELD, ONT V August 1st, 1906. 

xvii 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 



SECTION I. 
WILD, OR NATIVE FLOWERS 

VIOLETS. 

" The violet in her greenwood bower 

Where birchen boughs with hazel mingle, 
May boast herself the fairest flower 
In forest, glade or copsewood dingle." 

Scott. 

THERE is music and poetry in the very name" Violet." 
In the forest wilderness, far removed from all our early 
home associations, the word will call up, unbidden, a 
host of sweet. memories of the old familiar land where as 
children we were wont to roam among bowery lanes, and 
to tread the well-worn pathways through green pastures 
down by the hawthorn hedge, and along grassy banks 
where grew in early spring Primroses, Bluebells, and 
purple Violets. What dainty, sweet-smelling posies have 
you and I, dear reader (I speak to the emigrants from the 
dear Old Country), gathered on sunny March and April 
days on those green banks and grassy meadows? How 
many a root full of freshly opened Violets or Primroses 
have we joyfully carried off to plant in our own little bits 
of garden ground, there to fade and wither beneath the 
glare of sunshine and drying winds. Little we heeded 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

this, for the loss was soon replaced from Nature's abundant 
store. 

I doubt not but that Violets and Primroses, the Blue- 
bells and the Cowslips yet bloom and flourish in the loved 
haunts of our childhood. Year after year sees them bloom 
afresh pure, sweet and fragrant as when last we filled our 
laps w r ith their flowers or twined them in garlands for our 
hair; but we change and grow old. God wills it so, and 
it is well ! Though Canada boasts of many members of this 
charming family, there is none among our Violets so deeply 
blue, or so deliciously fragrant, as the common English 
March Violet, Viola odorata. This sweet flower bears away 
the crown from all its fellows. One of our older poets (Sir 
Henry Wotton) has said, as if in scornful contrast of it 
when compared with the rose, 

" Ye violets that first appear, 

By your pure purple mantles known, 
Like the proud virgins of the year, 
As if the spring were all your own, 
What are ye when the rose is blown ? " 

Good Sir Henry, we would match the perfume of the 
lowly violet even against the fragrance of the blushing rose. 

Though deficient in the scent of the purple Violet of 
Europe, we have many lovely species among the native 
Violets of Canada. The earliest is the small flowered 

EARLY WHITE VIOLET Viola Wanda (Willd.). 

This blossoms early in April, soon after the disappear- 
ance of the snow. The light green smooth leaves may be 
seen breaking through the black, damp, fibrous mould 
closely rolled inward at the margins ; the flowers are small, 
rather sweet scented, greenish white, with delicate pencil- 



NATIVE WILD FLO WEES 

lings of purple at the base of the petals. It is a moisture- 
loving plant, and affects open, recently overflowed ground, 
near creeks. It conies so early that we welcome its appear- 
ance thankfully, for it 

" Tells us that winter, cold winter, is past, 
And that spring, welcome spring, is returning at last." 

On pulling up a thrifty plant late in the summer, it sur- 
prises you with a new set of flowers, quite different from 
the spring blossoms; these are small buds and flowers of 
a dull chocolate-brown, lying almost covered over in the 
mould, w r ith seed pods, some ready to shed the ripened 
seed, others just formed. 

A variety of this mysterious little plant has been dis- 
tinguished by some botanists as Viola clandestine^, from 
the curious hidden way in which it produces the. sub- 
terranean flowers and seeds. 

The commonest among our blue Violets is 

THE HOODED VIOLET Viola cucullata (Ait.), 

so-called from the involute habit of the leaves, which, when? 
first appearing, are folded inwardly, as if to shield the- 
tender buds of the flowers from the chilling winds. There 
are many forms or varieties of this species, varying very 
much in appearance, the difference being probably due to* 
the habitat in which they occur. One of the handsomest is- 
the large blue Wood Violet, which flowers about the middle- 
of June, has blue scentless flowers with round petals, and 
large blunt hirsute leaves, and is found in low woods.* 
Another variety, with deep violet flowers, has elongated 
petals and pointed, rather smooth leaves of a purplish tint, 

* Viola Dicksoni, Greene. 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

at least till late in the season. It is found on open sunny 
banks and dry grassy hill-sides, f Yet another variet}^ is often 
found by the sides of springs and rivers, forming spreading 
tufts among the grass with its smooth-pointed leaves and 
pale, delicate flowers.f 

The prettiest of all our blue Violets is the 

ARROW-LEAVED VIOLET Viola sagittata (Ait.). 

It is found in low, sandy, shady valleys or very light 
loamy soil. The leaves of this species are not always arrow 
or heart-shaped, but in some cases are long and narrow, 
blunt at the apex, decurrent on the short leaf-stalk, notched 
at the edges, and rather roughened and dulled in color by 
the short silvery hairs on the surface. The flowers rise 
singly from the crown of the plant; color, a bright royal 
blue, a little white at the base of the petals, which are 
bearded with soft silky wool; anthers, a bright orange 
color, and forming a tiny cone from the meeting of the 
tips. The flowers, six or eight in number, fall back from 
the centre and lie prostrate on the closely horizontal leaves. 
The unopened buds are sharply folded with bright green 
sepals, and are of a deep bluish-purple. Another form, 
sometimes called Viola ovata, very nearly resembles the 
above, but the leaves are less hairy and the color is more 
purple in the tint. 

THE PENCILLED VIOLET Viola renifolia (Gray) 

bears its white blossoms on rather long slender foot-stalks, 
and these are slightly larger than those of the above. It is 
milky-white, with dark veinings. The leaves, although 

f Viola, subviscosa, Greene. 
%Viola prionosepala, Greene. 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

covered with soft hairs, have a bright, smooth and shining 
appearance. They are round heart or kidney-shaped, 
notched at the edges. As the summer advances the foliage 
of the Pencilled Violet increases in luxuriance, and many 
white fibrous running roots are produced in the loose soil. 
This attractive species may be found in swamps and forests, 
growing amidst decayed wood and mosses, and increasing 
after the same manner as Viola blanda. A point which 
easily distinguishes this species from the last is the total 
absence of scent; the leaves, too, are much more pubescent 
a character which is very noticeable in the early morning, 
when they are covered with dew. 

Among the branching Violets we have two pretty lilac 
ones, the Long Spurred Violet (Viola rostrata) and the 
Dog Violet (Viola canina var. sylvestris). These pretty 
species are distinguished by the long spur, lilac-tinted 
petals, striped and veined with dark purple and branching 
stem. The next in point of interest is the 

DOWNY YELLOW VIOLET Viola pubescens (Ait.). 

This handsome species is confined to our forests and 
copses. It will attain to more than a foot in height in its 
rich native woods; it blossoms in spring, and quite often 
through the early summer; the color is golden yellow, 
veined with black jetty lines. The seed-vessels are deeply 
clothed with white silky wool. 

The Yellow Violet has been immortalized by the sweet 
verses of that rare poet of nature, Cullen Byrant almost 
every child is familiar with his stanzas on the Yellow 
Violet. There is another variety of this Violet, called var 
scabriuscula, which is not so branching; it is of lower 
growth, the leaves darker, and the blossoms smaller but 

5 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

of a deeper golden color. This variety is found in drier, 
more open soil the black veining more distinctly marked 
than in the downy Yellow Violet, and the seed-vessels 
smooth. They both improve under culture, having two 
sets of flowers during the season. 

Among the white Violets none is so beautiful as the 

BRANCHING WHITE WOOD VIOLET Viola Canadensis (L.). 

This, our Canada Violet, is worthy of a place in our 
gardens. Not only is it a lovely flower, but it takes kindly 
to garden culture, preferring a shady place to the open 
sunshine. In its native haunts the rich black vegetable 
mould of beech and maple woods it rises to the height of 
from nine inches to a foot, throwing out slender leafy- 
bracted branches, with many buds and pure milk-white 
flowers. The petals are slightly clouded on the outside 
with purple; the buds are also dark, while the petals of 
the flower are veined with purple, and in some cases there 
is a shade of yellow in the centre of the flowers, though 
this is not seen so distinctly when under cultivation. 

The plant continues to send forth blossoms all through 
the summer, and even late in the month of September when 
undisturbed. The seeds, ripening early, form new plants, 
which, sheltered by the parent stem, continue to increase, 
forming a compact ball of snow-white flowers. This has 
been the case in my own garden. If well watered and in 
suitable soil, this pretty branching violet may be taken 
from the woods even in full bloom, and will grow and con- 
tinue to blossom freely, but must have shade and moisture 
and leaf-mould to ensure success to its healthy growth. 
The leaves are large, broad at the base, narrowing to a very 
slender point, and coarsely toothed. 

6 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

The violet has ever been a favorite flower with the poets; 
from Shakespeare and Milton down to the present day we 
find mention of this, lovely flower scattered through their 
verses. Nor are the old Italian poets silent in its praise. 
Luigi de Gonzaga, in stanzas addressed to his lady-love 
(Maria Mancini), says: 

" But only violets shall twine 
Thy ebon tresses, lady mine." 

Milton, in his sonnet to " Echo," speaks of the " violet 
.embroidered vale." 

Here are lines to early violets, after the manner of the 
old English poet, Herrick: 

Children of sweetest birth, 
Why do ye bend to earth 
Eyes in whose deepest blue 
Lies hid the diamond dew ? 

Has not the early ray 

Yet kissed those tears away 

That fell with closing day ? 

Say, do ye fear to meet 

The hail and driving sleet 

Which gloomy winter stern 

Flings from his snow-wreathed urn? 

Or do ye fear the breeze, 

So sadly sighing thro' the trees, 

Will chill your fragrant flowers 

'Ere April's silv'ry showers 

Have visited your bowers ? 

Why came ye till the Cuckoo's voice 

Bade hill and dale rejoice ? 

Till Philomel, with tender tone 

Waking the echoes lone, 

Bade woodland glades prolong 

Her sweetly tuneful song ? 

Till Skylark blithe and Linnet grey, 
From fallow brown and meadow gay, 
Pour forth their jocund roundelay ? 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

Till Cowslips wan and Daisies pied 
Broider the hillock's side, 
And opening Hawthorn buds are seen 
Decking the hedge-row screen ? 

What though the Primrose, drest 

In her pure modest vest, 

Came rashly forth 

To brave the biting North, 

Did ye not see her fall 

Straight 'neath his snowy pall ? 

And heard ye not the West Wind sigh 

Her requiem as he hurried by ? 

Go hide ye, then, till groves are green 
And April's clouded bow is seen, 
Till sans are bright, and skies are clear, 
And every flower that doth appear 
Proclaims the birthday of the year. 

C. P. T. 

LIVER-LEAF WIND-FLOWER Hepatica acutiloba (DC.). 

(PLATE II.) 

** Lodged in sunny clefts, 

Where the cold breeze comes not, blooms alone 
The little Wind-flower,* whose just opened eye 
Is blue as the spring heaven it gazes at." 

Bryant. 

The American poet Bryant has many happy allusions 
to the Hepatica under the name of " Wind-flower." The 
more common name among our Canadian settlers is " Snow- 
flower," it being the first blossom that appears directly 
after the melting of the winter snows. 

In the forest in open, grassy woods, on banks and 
upturned roots of trees this sweet flower gladdens the eye 
with its cheerful starry blossoms; every child knows it and 
fills its hands and pinafore with its flowers pink, blue, 
deep azure and pure white. What the daisy is to England 

- The blue-flowered Hepatica triloba is evidently the flower meant by the poet. 

8 







PLATE II. 

1. Wood Anemone (Anemone Nemorosa). P. 20. 

2. Sharp-lobed Hepatica (Hepat ca acutiloba). P. 8. 

3. Spring Beauty (Claytonia Virginica). P. 24. 

4. Large-flowered Bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora). P. 32. 

.. 







eatb 



bow u 

I 

-WIT that dot: 
as the birthday of the year. 

-C. P. T. 

LiVKR'Jj dTAJS 

.OS ,*1 .(jBZQiomsH snomsnA) snomsnA booW .1 
.8 .*! X^dolbuoA jso'JjsqaH) AoiJBqsH bsdoI-quaHS . 



Tin 





. 
and pit; 



PLATE 







4 2 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

the Snow-flower or Liver-leaf is to Canada. It lingers 
long within the forest shade, coyly retreating within its 
sheltering glades from the open glare of the sun, though 
for a time it will not refuse to bloom within the garden 
borders, when transplanted early in spring. Doubtless, if 
properly supplied with black mould from the woods, and 
partially sheltered by shrubs, it would continue to grow 
and flourish w r ith us constantly. 

We have two sorts, H. acutiloba and H. triloba. A 
large variety was found on Long Island in Rice Lake, the 
leaves of which are five lobed; the lobes are much rounded, 
the leaf stalks stout, densely silky, the flowers large, of a 
deep purple blue. This handsome plant throve under 
careful cultivation, and proved highly ornamental. 

The small round closely-folded buds of the Hepatica 
appear before the white silky leaves unfold themselves, 
though many of the old leaves of the former year remain 
persistent through the winter. The buds rise from the 
centre of a silken bed of soft sheaths and young leaves, as 
if Nature kindly provided for the warmth and protection of 
these early flowers with parental care. 

Later in the season the young leaves expand, just before 
the flowers drop off. The white flowered is the most 
common among our Hepaticas, but varieties may be seen 
of many hues waxen pink, pale blue and azure blue, with 
intermediate shades and tints. 

This pretty native flower improves under garden culture, 
forming a lovely flowery border, giving us the very earliest 
blossoms of April and May to gladden us before any of our 
garden flowers open. The colors of the pink and the blue 
deepen in open sunny borders. 

The Hepatica belongs to the Nat. Ord. Ranunculacese, 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

the Crowfoot family, but possesses none of the acrid and 
poisonous qualities of the Ranunculus proper, being used 
in medicine, as a mild tonic, by the American herb doctors 
in fevers and disorders of the liver. 

It is very probable that its healing virtues in complaints 
of the liver gave rise to its common name in old times; 
some assign the name, " Liver-leaf," to the form of the 
lobed leaf. 

BLUE COHOSH, PAPOOSE ROOT Caulophyllum thalictroides 

(Michx.). 

(PLATE IV.) 

Though bearing the same Indian name, " Cohosh," our 
plant has been removed by botanists to another family than 
the red and white Baneberries, or Cohoshes, which are 
members of the Ranunculacese or Crowfoot family. There 
is no beauty in the blossoms of the Blue Cohosh, yet the 
plant is remarkable for its medicinal uses, which are well 
known among the Indians and the herbalists of the United 
States medical schools. 

The round, rather large blue berries are not the portion 
of the plant that is used, but the thick -knotted root-stock. 
The leaves are of a dull bluish green, the flowers dark 
purplish green, lurid in color; the leaves are closely folded 
about the thick fleshy stem when they first appear. The 
whole plant impresses one with the conviction that it is 
poisonous in its nature; there is something that looks 
uncanny about it. Nature stamps a warning on many of 
our herbs by unmistakable tokens: the glaring inhar- 
monious coloring of some; the rank odors exhaled by 
others; the acrid, biting taste in the leaves and juices all 
these are safeguards if we would but heed them as warn- 

10 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

ings. The compound leafage of the Blue Cohosh breaks the 
ground in April with the immature flowers; after a while 
the leaf spreads out and the lurid blossoms expand. The 
berries are set upon short thick fleshy foot-stalks, and the 
round hard fruit forms a loose panicle of drupe-like naked 
seeds of horny texture. 

The plant may be found in open woods and grassy plain- 
lands, known by its large bluish green leafage and the dark 
blue berries. * 

BLOOD- KOOT. Sanguinaria Canadensis (L.)< 

(PLATE IV.) 

" Here the quick-footed wolf, 
Pausing to lap thy waters, crushed the flower 
Of Sanguinaria, from whose brittle stem 
The red drops fell like blood." 

Just at the margin of the forest, and in newly-cleared 
ground among the rich black leaf mould, may be seen late 
in April and May the closely-folded vine-shaped leaf of the 
Blood-root, enclosing in its fold one pure white bud. 

The leaf is strongly veined beneath with pale orange 
veins. The simple semi-transparent round leaf stalk, as well 
as the flower scape, is filled with a liquor of a bright orange 
red color: break the thick fleshy tuberous root and a red 
fluid drops from every wounded pore, whence its local 
name " Blood-root." f 

This juice is used largely by the Indian women in their 

* The roots of this plant are in use with the Indian women, its common name being 
" Papoose Root." Its virtues are of a singular and powerful nature, known only to the 
native Indian. 

t The Indians have an old legend of the transformation of the Wood Thrush into the 
form of the Blood-root, which poetical fancy has been sweetly versified by a lady in 
Toronto, who favored me with a copy of the poem. 

II 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

various manufactures. With it they dye the porcupine 
quills and moose-hair both red and orange, and also stain 
the baskets of a better sort that they offer for sale in the 
stores. Nor is this the only use to which it is applied: 
they use the juice both externally in curing cutaneous 
eruptions of the skin, and internally in other diseases. 
Latterly its medicinal qualities have been acknowledged by 
the American Eclectic School of Pharmacy as valuable in 
many forms of disease, so that we find our beautiful plant 
to be both useful and ornamental. 

The Blood-root grows in large beds; each knob of the 
root sends up one leaf and its accompanying flower bud, 
which it kindly enfolds as if to protect the fair, frail 
blossom from the chilling winds and showers of hail and 
sleet. The leaf is of a grayish or bluish green; at first the 
underside, which is the part exposed to view, is salmon 
colored veined with red, but as it expands and enlarges the 
outer surface darkens into deeper green. The blossom is 
composed of many petals, varying from eight to twelve.* 
The many stamens are of a bright orange yellow. The 
stigma is two-lobed, and the style short or sessile. The 
seed is contained in an oblong pod of two valves. The 
seeds are of a bright red brown color. The ivory white 
petals are oblong, blunt, or sometimes pointed; the outer 
ones larger than the inner, at first concave, but opening 
out as the flower matures. Under cultivation the blossom 
of the Blood-root increases in size, but the plant does not 



*Very rarely more than eight. It might be called an Easter flower. The two sepals fall 
off as the flower opens ; owing to this fact few know there were any. The flower 
is composed of four large petals on the outside and four smaller ones inside, both form- 
ing, when separated, a perfect St. Andrew's Cross. I never saw this noticed by anyone 
but myself. It is so fragile a plant that it is often hard to get a perfect flower, as the 
petals drop when it is being plucked. A.D.C. 

12 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

x 

seem to spread and multiply as freely as in its native soil. 
It is one of our most lovely native Spring flowers. It is a 
pity that, with the march of civilization, we shall soon lose 
its fair pure blossoms. It is easily cultivated, and repays 
care by the increase in size of the flowers, ripening the 
seeds perfectly and freely. 


TALL BUTTERCUP Ranunculus acris (L.). 

We see in Canada this old familiar meadow-flower of our 
childhood bright and gay, growing abundantly in low wet 
pasture lands, where it becomes to the eye of the farmer a 
troublesome, unprofitable weed, rejected by the cattle for 
its bitter, acrid qualities. Yet it is pleasant to meet its 
old familiar face in a foreign land, where often the sight 
of some simple flower will awaken tender recollections of 
early scenes of sunny grassy meadows, where we wandered 
in days of thoughtless childhood, free of care as the lark 
that carolled above our heads in the glad sunshine; happy 
days brought back to memory in all their freshness by the 
sight of a simple yellow Buttercup blossoming in Canadian 
wilds and wastes, despised and rejected by others but 
precious to the heart of the lonely immigrant, who hails 
it as a tiny link between himself and his early home life. 

EARLY CROWFOOT Ranunculus fascicularis (Muhl.). 

This native species of Ranunculus is one of our earliest 
spring flowers. It grows low and spreading to the ground, 
the hairy foliage giving a hoary tint to the divided coarsely- 
cut leaves; the blossoms are of a pale yellow color, not as 
large as the common Buttercup. The root is a cluster of 
thick fleshy fibres. 

3 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

One of the prettiest of the Ranunculus family is the 

CREEPING SPEARWORT Ranunculus reptans (Gray), 

a tiny, delicate plant, with slender thready stems rooting 
from beneath the joints. The leaves are very narrow and 
pointed, those nearest to the root a little lobed or eared. 
The little bright golden shining flowers only a few lines 
broad, are borne in the axils of the leaves of the prostrate 
creeping stems, and peep out from the sandy soil among 
tufts of minute hairy sedges (Eleocharis acicularis) that 
clothe the damp low-lying shores of rivers or lakes. There 
are several Water Crowfoots, some with white flowers, 
others with yellow. These latter flowers float upon the 
surface of slow-flowing rivers or lakes, gently rising or 
falling with the motion of the waters. The beautiful 
adaptation of plants to soil and circumstances may be 
noticed in these and some other aquatic plants which have 
their foliage dissected into narrow segments, so that the 
water may freely flow through them. Of the water 
Ranunculi, we may mention White Water Crowfoot (R. 
aquatilis) and Yellow Water Crowfoot (R. multifidus). 

There are among our native Ranunculus flowers a few 
plants of which the outward beauties of their blossoms are 
better known to us than their useful qualities, though 
doubtless even the lowliest among them has a part to per- 
form, not for man's sole benefit, but for the support or 
shelter of some of God's creation among the insect tribes 
or smaller animals or birds which find nourishment in 
their seeds, leaves or roots. It is a remarkable fact that 
rarely, if ever, is the flower of any plant selected for food 
by bird or beast. 

There are many native plants of the order Ranunculaceae, 

14 



NATIVE WILD FLOWEKS 

too many to be here described. Gray describes nineteen 
species of Ranunculi proper, only a part of the plants 
described being found with us, and there are doubtless 
many others found in our extensive Dominion not at pre- 
sent named. 

The large deep golden, abundant flowers of the 

MARSH MARIGOLD Caltha palustris (L.), 

(PLATE V.) 

are too well known to need any minute description. It is, 
indeed, a splendid flower, and can hardly fail of being 
admired when seen, like a " field of cloth of gold," covering 
the low, wet ground with its large leaves of a deep refresh- 
ing green and its rich golden cups a pleasant sight to 
the eye in May. The leaves were used as a pot-herb by the 
early backwoods settlers, before gardens were planted; but, 
through carelessness or ignorance, accidents of a fatal 
nature are known to have occurred through mistaking the 
leaves of the Ariscema tripkyllum for those of the more inno- 
cent herb, the Marsh Marigold, or Water Cowslip, as this 
plant is often called. 

MITREWORT, BISHOP'S CAP Mitella diphylla (L.). 

This elegant forest flower is found in moist, rich soil, 
among beech, maple, and other hardwood trees. 

We have two species of these plants: one, Mitella nuda 
(L.), rather creeping, with green blossoms, only a few inches 
in height, and the flowers larger and fewer on the slender 
scape, the bright green lobed leaves spreading on the 
ground. The taller Mitrewort has elegant fringed cups, 
greenish white, many flowers arranged in a long slender 
spike. The term " diphylla " distinguishes it from the low 

15 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

dwarf species, there being two opposite pointed leafy bracts 
about the middle of the long slender scape. Not only are 
the fringed cap-like flowers worthy of minute attention, but 
the boat-shaped two-valved capsules of the seed vessels 
form a pretty feature in the plant. At an early stage of 
ripeness the shining jet black seeds appear; these are 
scarcely less attractive than the delicate fringed flowers, 
and have given rise to the local name in some places of 
" Gem-flower." 
Nearly allied to the above is the woodland flower, 

FALSE MITREWORT Tiarella cordifolia (L.), 

(PLATE VIII.) 

to which the name " Wood Mignonette " is often given, not 
on account of its scent for there is no particularly agree- 
able odor in the flower, and the leaves are somewhat coarse 
and pungent in quality but for the beauty of the light 
graceful blossoms, which are white with orange tipped or 
light tawny brown anthers. The petals are pointed and 
five in number; stamens ten, long and slender; styles two; 
seed vessels two-valved; .the base of the pistil is thickened, 
forming a turban-like pod. 

There are two forms of our pretty " Wood Mignonette " 
one with closer, more globular, heads of flowers, the other 
with the flowers looser and more scattered. Both affect the 
rich black mould and shade of the forest trees. 

The plant might be called evergreen, as the leaves appear 
green and fresh from beneath the covering of Winter's snow. 
The large flat sharply-toothed, lobed leaves are shaded in 
the centre with purple; the veinings also blackish purple, 
and the surface is beset with very short appressed hairs. 
The leaf stalks of the young plants are of a reddish pink, 
and are hairy at their junction with the root. 

16 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

WOOD BETONY Pedicularis Canadensis (L.).* 

This plant is commonly found in open grassy thickets 
and plainlands. Of the two common species, we have one 
with dark dull red flowers and another with yellow. It 
is a rather coarse flower; the spike leafy, hairy and rough; 
the leaves are divided into many rounded lobes, toothed at 
the margins and deeply cleft, nearly to the mid-rib, turning 
black in drying. The yellow flowered is a smaller plant 
than the red; the foliage is much more hairy, and the 
lipped blossoms are also hairy, the upper lip arched over 
the lower lobes of the corolla. I think it must be a distinct 
variety, or even species. Lindley remarks, in his " Natural 
System," that the Betony is acrid in quality, but that it is 
eaten by goats unluckily we have few goats in Canada to 
benefit by the herbage of this homely plant, t 

FLOWERING WINTERGREEN Poly gala paucifolia (Willd.). 

(PLATE IX.) 

This is one of our early flowering plants distinguished 
by the common name of " Wintergreen." It belongs to a 
family of well-known plants called Milkworts^-low bitter 
herbs some of which are remarkable for tonic properties, 
of which the Senega, or Snakeroot, is an example. 

Some of the species are remarkable as bearing fertile 
flowers under ground. The flowers of some are white, 
others red, and others again purple or reddish lilac. The 
name Milkwort appears to have been adopted without any 
foundation, from an imaginary idea that the herbage of 
some of the species promoted the secretion of milk in cows. 
Several of the milkworts are indigenous to Canada. 

* The name given to this lovely plant in English has a low, vulgar sound "Louse- 
wort " that in the native Cree language is Moostoos Ootasee." 
t The Betony referred to by Lindley belongs to the Sage family. 

2 17 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

P. Senega is not evergreen in its habits; it flowers in 
May among grasses on dry uplands; it is simple, slender, 
and not ungraceful, the leafy stem terminating in a spike 
of greenish-white flowers. The wiry root is said to possess 
medicinal qualities. The plant which merits our attention 
more particularly for its beautiful flowers is P. paucifolia, 
the beautiful fringed, or crested, Polygala. It is a small- 
sized plant, about six to nine inches in height; the stem is 
simple, rising from a running or creeping root-stock, often 
furnished with subterranean imperfect leaflets and fertile 
flowers. The smooth dark -green leaves, delicately fringed 
with soft silky hairs tinged with a purplish hue, are per- 
sistent through the winter. The stem of the plant is leafy, 
the lower leaves small and bract-like, the upper ones larger 
and clustered round the summit; from amongst these 
appear from two to four, and sometimes as many as five, 
elegantly winged purple-lilac flowers. The two upper 
petals are long-ovate, the lower forming a crested keel, 
finely tinged with deeper purple. The flowers of this 
beautiful species are very graceful, slightly drooping from 
among the shining leaves on thread-like pedicels. The 
stamens are six; sepals of the calyx five; petals three. 
Some old writers have given the name of " Fly-flower " to 
our pretty Polygala, and truly not an inappropriate name, 
as one might not inaptly liken the opened blossom to some 
gay purple-winged insect ready to take its flight from the 
bosom of the soft silky leaves that form an involucre 
round it. 

This Flowering Wintergreen is one of our earliest Spring 
flowers; in fine warm seasons it appears in the latter end 
of April, continuing to bloom on till the middle of May. 
The early flowering plants are not so tall, neither are the 
flowers so large as those put forth later in the season. On 

18 














PLATE III. 

White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum). P. 35. 

2. Rock Columbine (Aquilegia Canadensis). P. 39. 

3. Yellow Adder's Tongue (Erythronium Americanum). P. 33. 










fh dark-green leav 

tinged with a purplish hue. 
winter. The stem of the plant ii 

-ike, the upper ones larger 

amongst th< 
.Ill- 3TAJS as five , 

.5C .S .(muloftibn.sis muiflhT) muillhT sJirfW : *&* J .1 
.9 .^ .(2ien3bnjsO BigsIiupA) sriicfrhulca Bbfl .S 

. .^ .(mufUBohamA muinoid^iH) sugnoT a'isbbA woil^Y .C 

. 

The 

. 
. 
>ne miv: 

: 

ng 



nd 
aiing t- ; ar 

ihe 



PLATE 




2 I 3 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

sunny spots, on moderately sandy soil, on open wastes by 
the wayside, or at the edge of the partly cleared forest, it 
expands its soft purple sometimes rose-colored flowers, 
often mingled promiscuously with the white blossoms of the 
Wild Strawberry and creeping Early Everlasting. The 
lovely winged flowers gladden the eye of the traveller when 
as yet but few blossoms have ventured to brave the late 
frosts that ofttimes nip the fair promise of the spring. 
No wonder that we watch with pleasure for the re- 
ippearing of our little floral gem, as in the old times we 
did for the bright golden varnished flowers of the Smaller 
Celandine, that starred the green turfy banks in our 
English lanes, opening so gaily to the ruffling winds and 
sunshine on bright March mornings. Some of the peasants 
and old writers call the little Celandines " Kingcups," and 
I have often fancied that Shakespeare was thinking of this 
sweet spring flower when he wrote his charming song, 
" Hark, the Lark at Heaven's Gate Sings," 

" And winking Mary -buds begin 

To ope their golden eyes ; 
With all the things that pretty bin, 
My lady sweet, arise." 

Mary-golds, which some suppose the poet meant by 
Mary-buds, have little poetical charm about them, not 
being associated with the Lark as a wild spring flower. It 
is more than probable it was the gay little Celandine that 
he thus immortalizes with his sweet song. 

The larger form of our Flowering Wintergreen is found 
somewhat later in May in the woods, and is known by the 
settlers as " Satin-flower." It would make a pretty border 
plant, and from its early flowering would be a great 
acquisition to our gardens. 

19 



STUDIES OP PLANT LIFE 
AMERICAN SNAKEROOT Poly gala Senega (L.), 

already referred to, is less ornamental, though a delicate 
and graceful little plant. Like the rest of the genus, its 
root is perennial, woody, and bitter in its qualities. The 
stem is simple, wand-like, clothed with lanceolate leaves, 
and terminating in a spike of greenish-white flowers. The 
wings of this species are small, and embrace the flattened, 
less conspicuously crested keel. Its favorite haunt is 
dry upland plains, among shrubs and wild grasses; it 
blossoms later than the more showy purple Polygala, being 
seen through May and June, and later through the summer. 
Another purple-flowered species is 

SLENDER PURPLE MILKWORT Polygala polygama (Walt.). 

The flowers form slender racemes of violet-colored 
blossoms springing from a woody root-stock, which also bears 
numerous inconspicuous but more fertile flowers beneath 
the ground. Its usual habitat is dry grassy banks in sandy 
or rocky ravines; all these plants seem to prefer sunshine 
to shade, and favor a light sandy, loamy soil. Several of 
the species are used as tonics and alteratives by the 
American herbalists. 

WOOD ANEMONE Anemone nemorosa (L.). 

(PLATE II.) 

" Within the wood, 

Whose young and half -transparent leaves 
Scarce cast a shade, gay circles of anemones 
Danced on their stalks." 

Bryant. 

The classical name " Anemone " is derived from a Greek 
word which signifies the wind, because it was thought that 
the flower opened out its blossoms only when the wind was 

20 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

blowing. Whatever the habits of the Anemone of the 
Grecian Isles may be, assuredly in their native haunts in 
this country the blossoms open alike in windy weather or 
in calm, in sunshine or in shade. It is more likely that the 
wind acting upon the downy seeds of some species and 
dispersing them abroad has been the origin of the idea, and 
has given birth to the popular name which poets have made 
familiar to the ear with many sweet lines. Bryant, who is, 
the American poet of Nature, for he seems to revel in all 
that is fair among the flowers and streams and rocks and 
forest shades, has also given the name of " Wind-flower " 
to the blue Hepatica. 

This pretty, delicate species loves the moderate shade of 
groves and thickets; it is often found in open pinelands of 
second growth, and evidently prefers a light and somewhat 
sandy soil to any other, with glimpses of sunshine stealing 
down upon it. 

The Wood Anemone is from four to nine inches in height, 
but occasionally taller ; the five rounded sepals which 
form the flower are white, tinged with a purplish-red or 
dull pink on the outside. The leaves are three-parted, 
divided again into three, toothed and sharply cut, and 
somewhat coarse in texture; the three upper stem leaves- 
form an involucre about midway between the root and the- 
flower-cup. 

Our Wood Anemone is a cheerful little flower, gladden- 
ing us with its blossoms early in the month of May. It is 
very abundant in the neighborhood of Toronto, on the 
grassy banks and piney dells of Dovercourt, and elsewhere. 

" There thickly strewn in woodland bowers, 
Anemones their stars unfold." 

A taller species, Anemone dichotoma, with very beauti- 
ful white starry flowers, is found on gravelly banks by 

21 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

river-sides and under the shade of shrubs in most parts < f 
Canada, as is also the downy-seeded species known as 
"Thimble-weed" (Anemone cylindrica], from the cylindri- 
cal heads of fruit. This latter is not very attractive for 
beauty of color; the flower is greenish-white, small, two of 
the sepals being shorter and less conspicuous than the 
others. The plant is from one to two feet high; the leaves 
of the cut and pointed involucre are coarse, and are of a 
dull green, surrounding the several long flower-stalks. The 
soft cottony seeds remain in close heads through the 
winter till the spring breezes disperse them. 

The largest species of our native Anemones is the Tall 
Anemone (A. Virginiana). This handsome plant loves the 
shores of lakes and streams; damp rich ground suits it 
well, as it grows freely in such soil, and under moderate 
shade when transferred to the garden. 

The foliage of the Tall Anemone is coarse, growing in 
whorls round the stem; divisions of the leaf three parted, 
sharply pointed and toothed. In this, as in all the species, 
the colored sepals (or calyx leaves) form the flower. 
The outer surface of the ivory-white flower is covered with 
minute silky hairs; the round flattened silky buds rise 
singly on tall naked stems, but those of the outer series 
are supplied with two small leaflets embracing the stalk. 
The central and largest flowers open first, then the lateral 
or outer ones as these fade away; thus a succession of 
blossoms is produced, which continue to bloom for several 
weeks. The flowers of this plant under cultivation become 
larger and handsomer than in their wild state; sometimes 
the flowers are tinted with purple. This species is dis- 
timguished from A. cylindrica by its round heads of fruit 
and larger flowers. The Anemone is always a favorite 
flower wherever it may be seen, whether in British woods, 

22 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

on Alpine heights, or in Canadian wilds; on banks of 
lonely lakes and forest streams, or in the garden parterre, 
where it is rivalled by few other flowers in grace of form 
or splendor of color. 

We cannot boast, in this part of the Dominion, any of 
the more brilliant and beautiful flowers of this ornamental 
family, though that interesting, lovely species known as 
Pasque-flower Anemone patens (L.), var. Nuttalliana 
(Gray) is largely distributed over the prairie lands of 
the W r estern States and in our North-western Provinces, 
where it is one of the earliest of the spring flowers to 
gladden the heart with its large lavender blossoms, than 
which none are more beautiful. The bud appears on a 
thick leafless scape, about four to six inches high, enclosed 
in a cut and sharply pointed involucre of grey bracts of 
silvery hue and shining brightness. The scape is clothed 
with hairy scales; from within this silky covering peeps 
out the fair bud, which shortly expands into a large open 
cup-like very beautiful blossom, with a shade of white at 
the base, of each large pointed sepal. As the flower 
advances a change takes place in the whole aspect of the 
plant; the root-leaves begin to appear, which are com- 
poundly cut and divided, and the head of plumy fruit is 
raised on a high scape above the silken involucre and now 
ripens in the breezy air and sunshine.* 

I have a fine dried specimen before me, perfect under all 
its several aspects, and I wish that it could be oftener seen as 
a cultivated border ornament in our Canadian gardens. The 
name " Pasque-flower " is hardly known among the inhabi- 
tants of our North-western prairies, and the Indian name 
would, I am sure, be descriptive of some natural quality of 
the plant, its growth or habits. 

*This is the Crocus Anemone of the West and has been chosen as the floral emblem 
of Manitoba. 

23 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

We have in Ontario several distinct species of Anemone, 
though none so finely colored as the prairie flower; nor can 
we boast of the splendid Anemones that gem the wilderness 
tracts of Palestine. Some travellers have suggested that it 
was to the brilliant blossoms of the scarlet, blue and white 
Anemones that the Saviour drew the attention of his dis- 
ciples, while Sir James Smith has supposed and with more 
probability it was to the glowing colors of the golden 
flowered Amaryllis lutea, which abounds on the fields of 
Palestine, that He alluded in His words, " Behold the lilies 
of the field," etc.f 

SPRING BEAUTY Claytonia Virginica (L.) and C. Caro- 
liniana (Michx.). 

(PLATE II.) 

" Where the fire had smoked and smouldered, 
Saw the earliest flower of Springtime, 
Saw the Beauty of the Springtime, 
Saw the Miskodeed* in blossom." Longfellow. 

This simple, delicate little plant is one of our earliest 
April flowers. In warm springs it is almost exclusively an 
April flower, but in cold and backward seasons it often delays 
its blossoming time till May. 

Partially hidden beneath the shelter of old decaying tim- 
bers and fallen boughs, its pretty pink buds peep shyly forth. 
It is often found in partially cleared beech-woods and in rich 
moist meadows. 

In Canada there are two species: C. Caroliniana, with 
few flowers, white, veined with red, and both leaves and 
flowers larger than the more common western form; C. Vir- 
ginica, the blossoms of which are more numerous, smaller 
and pink, veined with lines of a deeper rose color, forming 

fA literal translation of the words is " the bright and shining ones." 
* Miskodeed Indian name for Spring Beauty. 

24 







PLATE IV. 

1 . Blood-Root (Sanguinaria Canadensis). P. 1 1 . 

2. Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides). P. 10, 





' 
- 

. hi< : . i i 

. 

.VI3TAJ1 

. 1 1 .<! .(eiansbsfi/O ah/jntuana?) jooH-boolS . I 
.01 .^ .(zabioiloibdt muIIyriqoioAD) fizorioO sulS . 












an 

n delays 

rich 

vith 
and 

Her 






PLATE IV. 




NATIVE WILD FLOWEKS 

a slender raceme; sometimes the little pedicels or flower- 
stalks are bent or twisted to one side, so as to throw the 
flowers all in one direction, as in the figure given in Pursh's 
work before alluded to. 

The scape springs from a small deep tuber, bearing a single 
pair of soft oily succulent leaves. In the white-flowered 
species (C. Caroliniana) these leaves are placed about mid- 
way up the stem, but in the pink (C. Virginica) the leaves 
lie closer to the ground and are smaller and narrower, of a 
dark bluish-green hue. Our Spring Beauties well deserve 
their pretty poetical name. They come in with the robin and 
the song sparrow, the hepatica and the first white violet; 
they linger in shady spots, as if unwilling to desert us till 
more sunny days have wakened up a wealth of brighter 
blossoms to gladden the eye; yet the first and the last are 
apt to be most prized by us, with flowers as well as other 
treasures. 

How infinitely wise and merciful are the arrangements of 
the Great Creator! Let us instance the connection between 
bees and flowers. In cold climates the former lie torpid, or 
nearly so, during the long months of winter, until the genial 
rays of the sun and light have quickened vegetation into 
activity and buds and blossoms open their stores of nutri- 
ment necessary for the busy insect tribes. 

The bees seem made for the blossoms, the blossoms for the 
bees. On a bright March morning what sound can be more 
in harmony with the sunshine and blue skies than the 
murmuring of the honey bees in a border of cloth-of-gold 
Crocuses? What sight more cheerful to the eye? But I 
forget. Canada has few of these sunny flowers, and no 
March days like those that woo the hive bees from their win- 
ter dormitories. And even April is with us only a name. 
We have no April month of rainbows, suns and showers. We 
miss the deep blue skies and silver throne-like clouds that 

25 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

s cast their fleeting shadows over the tender springing grass 
and grain ; we have no mossy lanes odorous with blue violets, 
and our April flowers are, comparatively speaking, few, and 
so we prize our early violets, hepaticas and spring beauties. 
We miss the turfy banks studded with starry daisies, pale 
primroses and azure bluebells. 

In the warmth and shelter of the forest vegetation appears. 
The black leaf -mould, BO light and rich, quickens the seedlings 
into rapid growth, and green leaves and opening buds follow 
soon after the melting of the snows of winter. The starry 
blossoms of the spring plants come forth and are followed 
by many a lovely flower, increasing with the more genial 
seasons of May and June. 

Our May is bright and sunny, more like to the English 
March; it is, indeed, a month of promise a month of many 
flowers. But too often its fair buds and blossoms are nipped 
by frost, and " winter, lingering, chills the lap of May." 

INDIAN TURNIP Ariscema tripliyllum (Torr.). 

(PLATE VII.) 
" Or peers the arum from its spotted veil." Bryant. 

There are two species of Arum found in Canada, the 
larger of which is known as Green-dragon (A. Dracon- 
tium) ; the other is known by the familiar name of Indian 
Turnip (A. triphyllum or A. purpureum). 

These moisture-loving plants are chiefly to be found in 
rich black swampy mould, beneath the shade of trees and 
rank herbage, near creeks and damp places in or about the 
forest. 

The sheath that envelopes and protects the spadix, or 
central column which supports the clustered flowers and 
fruit, is an incurved membranaceous hood of a pale green 
color, beautifully striped with dark purple or brownish- 

26 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

purple. The flowers are inconspicuous, hidden at the base 
of the scape by the sheath. They are of two kinds, the sterile 
and fertile ; the former, placed above the latter, consisting of 
whorls of four or more stamens and tw r o to four-celled 
anthers; the fertile or fruit-bearing flowers of one-celled 
ovaries. The fruit when ripe is bright scarlet, clustered 
round the lower part of the round fleshy scape. As the 
berries ripen the hood or sheath withers and shrivels 
away to admit the ripening rays of heat and light to the 
fruit. 

The root of the Indian Turnip consists of a round 
wrinkled fleshy corm, sometimes over two inches in 
diameter; from this rises the simple scape or stem of the 
plant, which is sheathed by the base of the leaves. These 
are on long naked stalks, divided into three ovate pointed 
leaflets, waved at the edges. 

The juices of the Indian Turnip are hot, acrid, and of a 
poisonous quality, but can be rendered useful and harmless 
by the action of heat; the roots roasted in the fire are no 
longer poisonous. The Indian herbalists use the Indian 
Turnip in medicine as a remedy in violent colic, long 
experience having taught them in what manner to employ 
this dangerous root. 

The Arissema belongs to the natural order Aracece, 
most plants of which contain an acrid poison, yet under 
proper care can be made valuable articles of food. Among 
these are the roots of Arum (Colocasia) mucronatum, 
and others, which, under the more familiar names of 
eddoes and yams, are in common use in tropical countries. 
(Lindley.) 

The juice of A. triphyllum, our Indian Turnip, has been 
used, boiled in milk, as a remedy for consumption. 

Portland Sago is prepared from a larger species, Arum 
maculatum (Spotted Arum). The corm, or root, yields a 

27 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

fine white starchy powder, similar to Arrowroot, which is 
prepared much in the same way as Potato starch. The 
pulp, after being ground or pounded, is thrown into clean 
water and stirred; after settling the water is poured off 
and the white sediment is again submitted to the same 
process until it becomes quite pure and is then dried. A 
pound of this starch may be made from a peck of the 
roots. The roots should be dried in sand before using. 
Thus purified and divested of its poisonous qualities, the 
powder so procured becomes a pleasant and valuable 
article of food, and is sold under the name of Portland 
Sago or Portland Arrowroot. 

When deprived of the poisonous acrid juices that per- 
vade them, all our known species may be rendered valuable 
both as food and medicine; but they should not be 
employed without care and experience. 

There seems in the vegetable world, as well as in the 
moral, two opposite principles, the good and the evil. The 
gracious God has given to man the power, by the cultiva- 
tion of his intellect, to elect the good and useful, separating 
it from the vile and injurious, thus turning that into a 
blessing which would otherwise be a curse. 

" The Arum family possesses many valuable medicinal 
qualities," says Dr. Charles Lee, "but would nevertheless 
become dangerous poisons in the hands of ignorant 
persons." 

The useful Cassava, Jatropha manihot (Lin.), of the 
West Indies and tropical America, is another remarkable 
instance of Art overcoming Nature and obtaining a positive 
good from that which in its natural state is evil; the 
Cassava flour from which the bread made by the 
natives is manufactured, being the starchy parts of a 
poisonous plant of the Euphorbia family, the milky juice 

28 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

of which is highly acrid and poisonous. The pleasant and 
useful article sold in the shops under the name of Tapioca 
is also made from the Cassava root. 

How well do I recall to mind the old English Arum, 
known by its familiar names among the Suffolk peasantry 
as " Cuckoo-pint," " Jack-in-the-Pulpit " and " Lords and 
Ladies." The first name doubtless was suggested from the 
appearance of the plant about the time of the coming of 
that herald of spring, the Cuckoo; the hooded spathe, 
shrouding the spadix like a monkish cowl, must have 
furnished the second; while the distinction in color 
between the deep purplish-red and the creamy white of the 
central column or spadix supplied the more euphonious 
term of " Lords and Ladies," which to our childish fancies 
represented the masculine and feminine element in the 
plant. Of course, we dreamed not of the Linnsean system; 
the one was the lord because it was dark, the other the lady 
because it was fair and more delicate. 

SQUIRREL CORN Dicentra Canadensis (DC.). 

(PLATE VI.) 

This elegant species belongs to the Fumitory family and 
is remarkable for its sweetness, as well as for the grace of 
its almost pellucid white or pale pink bells and the finely 
dissected compound foliage of a peculiar bluish tint of 
green. The corolla is heart-shaped, with slightly rounded 
blunt spurs, the tips of the petals projecting and rather 
more distinctly colored. There is a fine variety of this flower 
with larger, more drooping bells, and of a decidedly pink 
shade. 

In the rich black mould of the forest and in rather damp 
situations this species, known by old settlers as Squirrel 
Corn and by others as Wood Hyacinth, may be found. The 

29 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

sweet scent of the fresh flowers evidently suggested the last 
name. The round clusters of orange bulblets that are found 
at the base of the scape no doubt gave rise to the more 
common name Squirrel Corn. Whether or not these grain- 
like looking bulbs are eaten by the little ground squirrels I 
do not know; the fact depends upon the authority of the 
Indians and old woodsmen, so we assume it is correct. 

In studying the habits of this and the next species of the 
genus Dicentra, I have noticed some peculiarities of growth 
in these interesting plants which appear to have escaped the 
attention of the more learned botanical writers. One thing 
may here be mentioned, which is the total and very rapid 
disappearance of the -whole plant directly the flower has 
perfected and ripened the seed, which is about a month 
after the plant has bloomed. The fine and elegantly dis- 
sected compound leaves wither away, leaving not a wreck 
behind to mark where the plant had grow r n; delicate seed- 
lings, indeed, may be detected near where the older plant 
stood, and a few golden bulblets may be found near by under 
the mould, but not a vestige of the original plant remains. 
These golden slightly flattened bulbs are intensely bitter, 
but not acrid or biting. I think the tiny seedlings are not 
the offspring of these bulbs, but of the real seed; yet the 
bulbs will vegetate and produce living plants, as in the 
Tiger Lily. 

All the species flourish under cultivation and become very 
ornamental early border flowers ; but care should be taken to 
plant them in rich black vegetable mould, the native soil of 
their forest haunts. 

This family contains another very charming species to 
which the outlandish and vulgar name of " Dutchman's 
Breeches " has been given, and I am sorry to say this name 
has been retained in Dr. Gray's manual. A far prettier and 
more appropriate, because descriptive, name would be that of 

30 




PLATE V. 

HL ^_ 

1. Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris). P. 15. 

2. Wild Lupine (Lupinus perennis). P 68. 




. 

' 

; this ami th 

j 

. 

-entici!' 
' 

perfected a i .V 3T A_H 

after the }H aed md ole 

.51. .1 .( 2 meuUq^U^Wp 8 i^ 

8d S .(.zinrmsq auniquj) sniquJ bhW .S 

i wear 

' 

the 

, 
- 

' 

_ 



PLATE V. 




NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 
FLY-FLOWER Dicentra Cucullaria (DC.), 

the diverging nectaries taking just the angle of the wings 
of the Deer -fly when spread for flight, and the brown tips 
of the four petals giving the semblance of the head of the 
insect. The delicate pale primrose-tinted sac-like spurs of 
the corolla give a peculiar aspect to this very attractive 
flower, which forms one of the ornaments of the spring. 
It appears early in the month of May, or, in warm and 
genial seasons, as early as the latter weeks in April. Like 
the Squirrel Corn, the foliage is finely dissected and ample; 
it blooms, however, a week earlier. 

GOLDEN FUMITORY Corydalis aurea (Willd.). 

This pretty flower is also one of our native Fumitories; 
it makes a good border bloomer, is biennial in habit, seeds 
itself and blossoms freely. It is a low-growing, bushy plant, 
with pale bluish finely dissected foliage and simple racemes 
of golden yellow flowers; it begins to blossom very late in 
May and continues all through June and later. There is 
a finer, larger, more compactly growing plant, with larger 
flowers and foliage, found in rocky woods and islands in 
our backwoods' lakes. A very pretty species is Corydalis 
(jlauca (Pursh). This is tall and branching, with delicate 
flowers of bright pink, yellow and green, or white. The 
foliage is very blue in shade, not very abundant; the 
divisions of the leaf bluish; pods very slender, splitting 
and shedding bright shining seeds. It is a very pretty 
plant, and grows readily among grasses and other wayside 
herbage. * 

* On rocky islands this very elegant species may be found in profusion, growing lux- 
uriantly in the clefts of the gneiss rocks, and where the soil is black with decomposed 
vegetable mould ; it will bear to be removed, and grows freely in the garden. 

31 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

BED BANEBERRY, RED COHOSH Actcea spicata (L.), var. 
rubra (Gray). 

The Bed Cohosh is a larger plant than the Blue Cohosh, 
with foliage coarsely veined, pointed in the divisions, of a 
full green, sharply cleft, and toothed; flowers white in a 
close-tufted terminal raceme. The berries when ripe are 
oval, shining, of a deep red, set on slender stalks; it grows 
in daonp, rich woods. 

WHITE COHOSH Actcea alba (Bigel.). 

This is a striking-looking plant when in ripe fruit; the 
berries are white and shining, set on rose-red fleshy foot- 
stalks; the plant is branching and inclined to fall prostrate 
from the weight of the long-stalked cluster of heavy fruit. 
In some of its peculiar characteristics it seems to resemble 
the Blue Cohosh; the Indian herbalists evidently con- 
sidered they were of the same nature. In none of these 
plants is the fruit edible. 

BELLWORT WOOD DAFFODIL Uvularia grandiflora 
(Smith). 

(PLATE II.) 

" Fair Daffodil, we weep to see 

Thee haste away so soon, 
As yet the early rising sun 
Has not attained his noon. 

Stay, stay ! 
Until the hasting day 

Has run 

But to the evening song ; 
When, having prayed together, we 
Will go with you along." 

fferrick. 

This slender drooping flower of early spring is known by 
the name of Bellwort, from its pendent lily-like bells; and 

32 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

by some it is better known as the Wood Daffodil, to which 
its yellow blossoms bear some remote resemblance. 

The flowers of the Bellwort are of a pale greenish 
yellow; the divisions of the petal-like sepals are six, 
pointed and slightly twisted or waved; the flowers droop 
from slender thready pedicels terminating the branches; 
the stem of the plant is divided into two portions, one of 
which is generally barren of flowers. The leaves are of a 
pale green, smooth, and in the largest species perfoliate, 
clasping the stem. 

The root-stock or rhizome is white, with fleshy roots. The 
Bellwort is common in rich shady woods and grassy 
thickets and on moist alluvial soil on the banks of streams, 
where it attains to the height of two feet. It is an elegant 
but not very showy flower, remarkable more for its grace- 
ful pendent straw-colored or pale yellow blossoms than for 
its brilliancy. It belongs to a sub-order of the Lily tribe. 
There are three species in Canada Uvularia grandiflora, 
U. perfoliata and U. sessilifolia. 

ADDER'S-TONGUE DOG-TOOTH VIOLET ErytJironium 
Americanum (Smith). 

(PLATE III.) 

" And spotted adder's-tongue, with drooping bell, 
Greeting the new-born spring." 

In rich black mould on the low banks of creeks and open 
woodlands large beds of these elegant Lilies may be seen 
piercing the softened ground in the month of April; the 
broad lanceolate leaves are beautifully clouded with purple 
or reddish brown, and sometimes with milky white. Each 
bulb of the second year's growth produces two leaves, and 
between these rises a round naked scape (or flower stem), 

3 33 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

terminated by a drooping yellow bell. The unfolded bud 
is striped with lines of dark purple. A few hours of sun- 
shine and warm wind soon expand the perianth, composed 
of six colored recurved segments which form a lily-like 
turban-shaped flower; each segment is grooved, and spotted 
at the base with oblong purplish-brown dots. The outer 
surfaces of three of the colored flower leaves are marked 
with dark lines. The stamens are six; anthers oblong; 
pollen of a brick-red, or dull orange color, varying to 
yellow. The style is club-shaped; stigmas three, united. 

This elegant Lily even when expanded bends downward 
as if to hide its glories from the full glare of the sun- 
light. The clouded leaves are of an oily smoothness, 
resisting the moisture of rain and dew. This is one of the 
most elegant of our native Lilies and is well worth cultiva- 
tion. It blossoms early in May or late in April, and we hail 
it with gladness when it brightens us with a graceful golden 
bell at the edge of the dark forest. 

The name Dog-tooth Violet seems very inappropriate. 
The pointed segments of the bell may have suggested the 
resemblance to the teeth of a dog; but it is difficult to 
trace any analogy between this flower and the Violet, no 
two plants presenting greater dissimilarity of form or 
habit than the Lily and the Violet, though often blended in 
the verse of the poet. The American name, Adder's-tongue, 
is more significant.* This name must refer to the red 
pointed anthers rather than the foliage, as some have 
suggested. 

The White-flowered Adder's-tongue, Erythronium albi- 
dum (Nutt.), grows in the more western portions of Canada, 
as on the shores of Lake Huron. 

* The name Dog-tooth refers to the shape of the small pointed white bulbs of the 
common European species, so well known in English gardens. Prof. Lawson. 

34 



NATIVE WILD FLOWEKS 

/ 

WHITE TRILLIUM EASTER FLOWER Trillium grandiflorum 

(Salisb.). 

(PLATE III.) 

" And spotless lilies bend the head 
Low to the passing gale." 

Nature has scattered these remarkable flowers with no 
niggardly hand over hill and dale, wide shrubby plain and 
shady forest glen. In deep ravines and on rocky islets ttie 
bright snow-white blossoms of the Trilliums greet the eye 
and court the hand to pluck them. The old people in this 
part of the province call them by the familiar name of 
lily. Thus we have Asphodel Lilies, Douro Lilies, etc. In 
Nova Scotia they are called Moose-flowers, probably from 
being abundant in the haunts of moose-deer. In some of 
the New England States the Trilliums, white and red, are 
known as the "Death-flower," but of the origin of so 
ominous a name we have no record. We might imagine it 
to have originated in the use of the flower to deck the coffins 
or graves . of the dead. The pure white blossoms might 
serve not inappropriately for emblems of innocence and 
purity when laid upon the breast of the early dead. The 
darker and more sanguine hue of the red species might 
have led to its selection for such as fell by violence; but 
these are mere conjectures. A prettier name has been given 
to the Nodding Trillium (T. cernuum), that of "Smiling 
Wake-robin," which seems to be associated with the coming 
of the cheerful chorister of early spring, " the household 
bird with the red stomacher," as Bishop Carey* calls the 
robin redbreast. The botanical name of the Trillium is 
derived from trilix, triple, all the parts of the plant being 
in threes. Thus we see the round fleshy scape furnished 

* An old writer in the time of James I. and tutor to one of the daughters of Charles I. 

35 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

with three large sad green leaves, two or three inches 
below the flower, which is composed of a calyx of three 
sepals, a corolla of three large snow-white or else chocolate 
red petals, the styles or stigmas three, ovary three-celled, 
and the stamens six (which is a multiple of three). The 
white fleshy tuberous root is much used by the American 
schools of medicine in various diseases, also by the Indian 
herb doctors. 

'Trillium grandiflorum is the largest and most showy 
of the white species. Trillium nivale, or Lesser Snowy 
Trillium, is the smallest; this last blooms early in May. 
May and June are the months in which these flowers 
appear. The whiterflowered Trilliums are subject to many 
variations and accidental alterations. The green of the 
sepals is often transferred to the white petals in T. nivale; 
some are found handsomely striped with red and green, and 
in others the very footstalks of the almost sessile leaves are 
lengthened into long petioles. The large White Trillium is 
changed, previous to its fading, to a dull reddish lilac. 

PURPLE TRILLIUM BIRTHROOT Trillium erectum (Lin.). 

(PLATE VI.) 

" Bring flowers, bring flowers, o'er the bier to shed, 
A crown for the brow of the early dead. 
Though they smile in vain for what once was ours, 
They are love's last gift bring flowers, bring flowers." 

Hemans. 

Gray and other botanical writers call this striking flower 
" Purple Trillium " ; it should rather be called red, its hue 
being decidedly more red than purple; and in the New 
England States it is called by the country folks the Ked 
Deatji-flower, in contrast to the larger White Trillium or 
White Death-flower. T. erectum is widely spread over the 




PLATE VI. 

. 

1. Wood Geranium (Geranium maculatum). P. 58, 

2. Purple Trillium (Trillium erectum). P. 36. 

3. Squirrel Corn (Dicentra Canadensis). P. 29. 

4. Star Flower (Trientalis Americana). P. 60. 














OF 



( which 



is the i, 

of tiip \yJjiU* sp.-rii's. Trillium nivale, 
.uallest; this last blo 
May and June are the mou ]|V 3TAJ*? 
appear. The *4iie- tip \vered Trilliiuus are Riibj 

.oc .1 . .(fnujjsiucusm muin^aO) ffluinjsiaO booW I 
vari-: N< 

PS ' 
some are found \\u ' 

MOI 

im i 



. 






(Lin.). 



and 
>le Tr 



contras' 



'-- 

iking flower 

its hue 

i\e New 

he Bed 

Lum or 



PLATE VI. 




2 3 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

whole of old Canada. It appears in the middle of May and 
continues blooming till June, preferring the soil of damp, 
shady woods and thickets; but it takes very kindly to a 
shaded border in the garden, w T here it increases in size and 
becomes an ornamental spring flower. 

" Few of our indigenous plants surpass the Trillium in 
elegance and beauty, and they are all endowed with valu- 
able medicinal properties. The root of the -Purple Trillium 
is generally believed to be the most active. Tannin and 
Bitter Extract form two of its most remarkable ingred- 
ients." So says that intelligent writer on the medicinal 
plants of North America, Dr. Charles Lee. 

The Red Trilliums are rich but sombre in color, the 
petals are longish-ovate, regular, not waved, and the pollen 
is of a greyish dusty hue, while that of the white species 
is bright orange yellow. The leaves are of a dark lurid 
green, the coloring matter of the petals seeming to pervade 
the leaves. And here let me observe that the same remark 
may be made of many other plants. In purple flowers we 
often perceive the violet hue to be perceptible in the stalk 
and under part of the leaves, and sometimes in the veins 
and roots. Red flowers, again, show the same tendency in 
stalk and veins. Where the flower is white the leaves and 
veinings, with the stem and branches, are for the most part 
of a lighter green, more inclining to the yellow or else 
bluish tinge of green. 

The Blood-root in its early stage of growth shews the 
orange juice in the stem and leaves, as also does the 
Canadian Balsam and many others that a little observation 
will point out. The coloring matter of flowers has always 
been more or less of a mystery to us; that light is one of 
the great agents can hardly for a moment be doubted, but 
something also may depend upon the peculiar quality of the 

37 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

juices that fill the tissues of the flower, and on the cellular 
tissue itself. Flowers deprived of light, we know, are 
pallid and often colorless, but how do we account for the 
deep crimson of the beetroot, the rose-red of the radish, 
the orange of the rhubarb and carrot, which roots, being 
buried in the earth, are not subject to the solar rays? The 
natural supposition would be that all roots hidden from 
the light would be white, but this is by no means the case. 
The question is one of much interest and deserves the 
attention of all naturalists, and especially of the botanical 
student. 

What shall we say to the rich color of the ruby, car- 
buncle, amethyst, topaz and emerald, taken from the 
darkness of the mine; can it be that all are really colorless 
till the light is admitted to them and the different condi- 
tions of the crystallized forms catch, imprison and forever 
hold fast the glorious rays of light? 

PAINTED TRILLIUM Trillium erythrocarpum (Mx.). 

(PLATE IX.) 

This beautiful ornamental species is of rare occurrence in 
our woods. The flower is elegantly tinged with soft pink 
veinings on the white waved and pointed petals; the base 
of each is richly colored and shaded from deep red to pale 
rose, which color indeed is slightly diffused through the 
flower; leaves distinctly petioled, broad at the base, waved 
at the margins and sharply pointed; the whole plant from 
six to nine inches in height. The specimen from which the 
drawing is taken was found in May, near Ottawa, where 
it is not uncommon. The under-surface of the leaves is 
slightly tinged with purple. 

Though scarce in our western woods, Gray says the 

38 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

Painted Trillium may be found as far northward as Lake 
Superior; it also occurs in New England, and southward in 
the Alleghanies and Virginia. 

ROCK COLUMBINE Aquilegia Canadensis (Lin.). 

(PLATE III.) 

" The graceful columbine, all blushing red, 
Bends to the earth her crown 
Of honey-laden bells." 

This graceful flower enlivens us all through the months 
of May and June by its brilliant blossoms of deep red and 
golden yellow. 

In general outline the Wild Columbine resembles its 
cultivated sisters of the garden, but is more light and airy 
in habit. The plant throws up many tall slender stalks, 
furnished with leafy bracts, from which spring other light 
stems terminated by little pedicels, each bearing a large 
drooping flower and bud, which open in succession. 

The flower consists of five red sepals and five red petals; 
the latter are hollowed, trumpet-like at the mouth; ascend- 
ing they form narrow tubes, which are terminated by little 
round knobs filled with honey. The delicate thready pedicel 
on which the blossom hangs causes it to droop down and 
thus throw up the honey -bearing tubes of the petals, the 
little balls forming a pretty sort of floral coronet at the 
junction with the stalk. 

The unequal and clustered stamens and the five thready 
styles of the pistil project beyond the hollow mouths of the 
petals like an elegant golden-fringed tassel; the edges and 
interior of the petals are also of a bright golden yellow. 
These gay colors are well contrasted with the deep green of 
the root-leaves and bracts of the flower-stalks. The bracts 
are lobed in two or three divisions. The larger leaves are 

39 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

placed on long footstalks; each leaf is divided into three 
leaflets, which are again twice or thrice lobed and un- 
equally notched; the upper surface is smooth and of a dark 
rich green, the under pale and whitish. As the flowers fade 
the husky hollow seed pods become erect ; the seeds are black 
and shining. 

The Wild Columbine is perennial and very easily culti- 
vated. Its blossoms are eagerly sought out by the bees and 
humming-birds. On sunny days you may be sure to see the 
latter hovering over the bright drooping bells, extracting 
the rich nectar with which they are so bountifully supplied. 
Those who care for bees and love humming-birds should 
plant the graceful red-flowered Columbine in their garden 
borders. Indeed, this elegant ornamental species should 
find a place in every garden. I have seen a striking effect 
produced by a number of these flowers grown together. 

In its wild state it is often found growing among rocks 
and surface stones, where it insinuates its roots into the 
clefts and hollows that are filled with rich vegetable mould; 
and thus, being often seen adorning the sterile rocks with 
its bright crown of waving blossoms, it has obtained the 
name of Rock Columbine. 

PAINTED CUP SCARLET CUP Castilleia coccinea ( Spreng. ) . 

(PLATE VII.) 

" Scarlet tufts 

Are glowing in the green like flakes of fire ; 
The wanderers of the prairie know them well, 
And call that brilliant flower the Painted Cup." 

Bryant. 

This splendidly-colored plant is the glory and ornament 
of the plain-lands of Canada. The whole plant is a glow 
of scarlet, varying from pale flame-color to the most vivid 

4 o 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

vermilion, rivalling in brilliancy of hue the Scarlet 
Geranium of our gardens. 

The Painted Cup owes its gay appearance not to its 
flowers, which are not very conspicuous at a distance, but 
to the deeply-cut leafy bracts that enclose them and clothe 
the stalks, forming at the ends of the flower-branches 
clustered rosettes. 

The flower is a flattened tube bordered with bright red 
and edged with golden yellow. Stamens four; pistil one, 
projecting beyond the tube of the calyx; the capsule is 
many-seeded. The radical or root-leaves are of a dull 
hoary green, tinged with reddish purple, as also is the 
stem, which is rough, hairy, and angled. The bracts, or 
leafy appendages which appear on the lower part of the 
stalk, are but slightly tinged with scarlet, but the color 
deepens and brightens towards the middle and summit of 
the branched stem. 

The Scarlet Cup appears in May, along with the White 
and Ked Trilliums, but these early plants are small; the 
stem is simple, rarely branched, and the color of a deeper 
red. As the summer advances our gallant soldier-like 
plant puts on all its bravery of attire. All through the 
glowing harvest months the open grassy plains and the 
borders of the cultivated fields are enriched by its glorious 
colors. In favorable soil the plant attains a height of from 
two to three feet, throwing out many side branches, ter- 
minated by the clustered brilliantly-tinted bracts; some 
heads are as large as a medium-sized rose. They have been 
gathered in the corners of the stubble fields on the culti- 
vated plains as late as October; specimens from the 
prairies are of a deep purplish red.* A not uncommon 

*This is Castilleia miniata, Dougl. 

41 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

slender variety occurs of a pale buff, and also of a bright 
lemon color. The American botanists speak of Castilleia 
coccinea as being addicted to a low wettish soil, but this 
has not been my experience; if you would find it in its 
greatest perfection you must seek it on the high dry roll- 
ing plains of Rice Lake, Brantford, the Humber to the 
north of Toronto, Stoney Lake, the neighborhood of Peter- 
boro', and similar localities. 

For soil the Scarlet Cup seems to prefer light loam, and 
evidently courts the sunshine rather than the shade. If it 
could be prevailed upon to flourish in our garden borders 
it would be a great acquisition, from its long continuance 
in flower and its brilliant coloring. The seed is light 
brown, contained in thinnish capsules, ripe in September. 
Gray says : " Herbs parasitic on roots," but our brave plant 
is no parasite but grows freely on open ground. Neither is 
it found with us in low wettish places; it loves the light 
and would not flourish in shade. It is essentially a " prairie 
flower." I have had bright specimens from our North- West 
and also from Wisconsin and Dakota, U.S. ; of a darker 
red from Manitoba. 

These lovely plants, like many others that adorn our 
Canadian woods and wilds, yearly disappear from our 
midst, and soon we shall seek them but find them not. 

We might say with the poet: 

" 'Twas pity Nature brought ye forth 
Merely to show your worth, 

And lose ye quite ! 
But ye have lovely leaves, where we 
May read how soon things have 
Their end, though ne'er so brave ; 
And after they have shown their pride 
Like you awhile, they glide 
Into the grave." 

Herrick. 

42 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

I do not know if our brave Scarlet Cup of Canada has 
any floral relationship to an herb known in the Old Country 
as " Clary,"* or by its local and descriptive name of " Eye- 
bright." It is an old-fashioned flower sometimes found in 
cottage gardens. I remember its curiously colored leaves 
and bracts attracted my notice when first I saw it in a 
neglected corner of a poor old woman's garden. There 
were two varieties, one with the dull veiny leaves bordered 
with purple, as if the leaves had been dipped in^o some 
logwood dye; the other with a full pink. I forget, in the 
long lapse of time since I saw the plants, if the flower itself 
was pretty or partook of the same tint of color as the 
foliage, but the great marvel consisted in the black oval 
seeds, not very large, about the size of the seed of the sage. 
This wonderful seed, Nannie Prime told me, gave the name 
to the plant " Eye-bright," though, she added, " the learned 
gardener folk do call it ' Clary.' If any dust or motes, or 
any bad humors, are in the eye, and one of these seeds be 
put into the corner of the eye, it will gather it all round 
itself and clear the precious sight; and this is why folks 
do give it the name of ' Eye-bright.' Sure, Miss, the Lord 
gave this little seed for a cure for us poor folk, and no 
doubt the whole plant is good for other complaints, as 
many of our harbs be if we did but use them right." We 
know of no especial healing virtue contained in the seed or 
leaves of our beautiful Scarlet Cup; but it charms the eye 
and delights us, and that is God's gift also. There seems 
to be no actual void, no space unfilled, in God's creation. 
Something fills up all vacancies, either in vegetable or 
animal life; unseen organisms, too subtle and too fine to 

* Salvia Sclarea of the Sage Family. 

43 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

become visible to our unassisted vision, have their existence, 
though we behold them not. 

" Father of earth and heaven, all, all are Thine, 
The boundless tribes in ocean, air and plain, 
And nothing lives, and moves, and breathes in vain. 
Thou art their soul, the impulse is divine : 
Nature lifts loud to Thee her happy voice, 
And calls her caverns to resound Thy praise ; 
Thy name is heard amid her pathless ways, 
And e'en her senseless things in Thee rejoice." 

Jane Roscoe. 

WILD GINGER Asarum Canadense (L.). 

This is a singular herbaceous plant, chiefly found in 
bush-wood and damp, rich meadow-land. The leaves are 
wide, rounded kidney-form, with deep sinuses. The flower, 
on a short peduncle, springs from the root-stock and appears 
below the leaves close to the ground, never more than 
one to each shoot; it is campanulate with sharp-pointed 
segments of a deep chocolate color. The floral envelope 
consists of a calyx, but no corolla; the creeping thick 
fleshy root-stock is warm, pungent and aromatic. It is a 
coarse, singular-looking plant, much used in Indian medicine 
craft. 

LADY'S SLIPPERS MOCCASIN FLOWERS. 

Among the many rare and beautiful flowers that adorn 
our native woods and wilds few, if any, can compare with 
the lovely plants belonging to the Orchis family. Where 
all are so worthy of notice it is difficult to make a choice; 
happily there is no rivalry to contend with in the case of 
our Artist's preferences. We will, however, first treat of 
the Cypripediums or Lady's Slippers, better known by the 
name of Moccasin Flowers, a name common in this country 

44 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

to all the species. The plants of this family are remark- 
able alike for the singular beauty of their flowers and 
the peculiar arrangement of the internal organs. In the 
Linnsean classification they were included, in common with 
all the Orchids, among the Gynandria. 

Whether we regard these charming flowers for the singu- 
larity of their form, the exquisite texture of their tissues, 
or the delicate blending of their colors, we must acknow- 
ledge them to be altogether lovely and worthy of our 
admiration. 

One of the rarest, and at the same time most beautiful 
and curious, of our native Orchids is the 

KAM'S-HEAD ORCHIS Cypripedium arietinum (R-Br.), 

which has smooth glaucous green leaves and small purplish 
flowers bearing a close resemblance to a ram's head, with 
the horns and ears and a tuft of wool on the top of the 
head. It is seldom over six inches in height; it grows in 
cold peat bogs, and flowers in June. Associated with it we 
find our most gorgeous representative of the family, the 

SHOWY LADY^S SLIPPER OR PINK-FLOWERED MOCCASIN 
PLANT Cypripedium spectabile (Swartz). 

(PLATE XIII.) 

This grows chiefly in tamarack swamps and near forest 
creeks, where, in groups of several stems, it displays 
its pure blossoms among the rank and coarser herbage. 
The stem rises to the height of from eighteen inches to two 
feet. The leaves, which are large, ovate, many nerved and 
plaited, sheathing at the base, clothe the fleshy stem, which 
terminates in a single sharp-pointed bract above the flower. 
The flowers are terminal and generally solitary, although 

45 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

old and strong plants will occasionally bear two or even 
three blossoms on one stem. The unfolded buds of this 
species are most beautiful, having the appearance of slightly 
flattened globes of delicately-tinted rice-paper. 

The large sac-like inflated lip is slightly depressed in 
front, tinged with rosy pink, and striped. The pale thin 
petals and sepals, two of each, are whitish at first, but turn 
brown when the flower is more advanced towards maturity. 
The sepals may be distinguished from the petals, the 
former being longer than the latter and united at the 
back of the flower. The column on which the stamens are 
placed is three-lobed; the two anthers are placed one on 
either side, under the two lobes; the central lobe is sterile, 
thick, fleshy, and bent down, somewhat blunt and heart- 
shaped. The root of the Lady's Slipper is a bundle of 
white fleshy fibres. 

One of the remarkable characteristics of the flowers of 
this genus, and of many of the natural order to which it 
belongs, is the singular resemblance the organs of the 
blossom bear to the face of some animal or insect. Thus 
the face of an Indian hound may be seen in the Golden- 
flowered Cypripedium pubescens; that of a sheep or ram, 
with the horns and ears, in C. arictinum; while our 
" Showy Lady's Slipper " displays the curious face and 
peering black eyes of an ape. 

A rarer species is the 

STEMLESS LADY'S SLIPPER Cypripedium acaule (Ait.). 

It differs from the former species by the sac, which is 
large and of a beautiful rose tint, exquisitely veined with 
deeper red zigzag lines, not being closed but merely folded 
over in front; this is not observable until you examine it 

4 6 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

closely. The scape rises from between the two large oval 
leaves, which lie horizontally on the mosses amidst which 
the plant grows. This species is only one-flowered. 

A time will come when these rare productions of our soil 
will disappear from among us, to be found only in those 
waste and desolate places where the foot of civilized man 
can hardly penetrate; where the flowers of the wilderness 
flourish, bloom and decay unseen save by the all-seeing eye 
of Him who adorns the lonely places of the earth, filling 
them with beauty and fragrance. 

For whom are these solitary objects of beauty reserved? 
Shall we say, with Milton : 

" Thousands of unseen beings walk this earth, 
Both while we wake and while we sleep 
And think, though man were none, 
That earth would want spectators, God want praise?" 

YELLOW LADY^S SLIPPERS. Cypripedium parviflorum 
(Salisb.) and Cypripedium pubescens (Willd.). 

" And golden slippers meet for fairies' feet." 

Of the golden-flowered Moccasin flowers we boast "of two 
very beautiful species, C. pubescens (Hairy Moccasin 
flower) and C. parviflorum (Lesser-flowered Moccasin 
flower). The larger plant is the more showy; the smaller 
the more graceful and with a delicate fragrance which is 
not so strong in the larger flower. The long spirally 
twisted petals and sepals, of a purplish brown color some- 
times tinted and veined with red, give this smaller flower 
a very elegant appearance, though the rich golden hue of 
the larger is more striking to the eye. 

C. parviflorum affects the moist soil of wet grassy 
meadows and swamps, while the larger plant loves the 
open plain lands among shrubs and tall grasses. In the 

47 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

month of June, when it may be seen beside the gay Painted 
Cup (Castilleia coccinea), the Blue Lupine (L. perennis), 
the larger White Trillium, and other lovely wild flowers, it 
forms a charming contrast to their various colors and no less 
varied forms. 

The stem of the larger Moccasin flower is thick and 
leafy, each many-nerved leaf sheathing the flowers before 
they open. The flowers are from one to three in number, 
bent forward, drooping gracefully downwards. The golden 
sac-like lip is elegantly striped and spotted with ruby red; 
the twisted narrow petals and sepals, two in number of 
each kind, are of a pale fawn color, sometimes veined and 
lined with a deeper shade of brown. 

SHOWY ORCHIS Orchis spectabilis (L.). 

(PLATE VII.) 

" Full many a gem of purest ray serene 

The dark, unfathomed caves of ocean bear ; 
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, 
And waste its sweetness on the desert air." 

Gray. 

Deep hidden in the damp recesses of the leafy woods, 
many a rare and precious flower of the Orchis family 
blooms, flourishes, and decays unseen by human eye, un- 
sought by human hand, until some curious flower-loving 
botanist plunges amid the rank, tangled vegetation and 
brings its beauties to the light. One of these lovely natives 
of our Canadian forests is known as Orchis spectabilis 
(Beautiful Orchis, or Showy Orchis). This pretty plant is 
not, indeed, of very rare occurrence; its locality is rich 
maple and beechen woods in eastern Canada. The color 
of the flower is white, shaded, and spotted with pink or 
purplish lilac; the corolla is what is termed ringent or 

48 



NATIVE WILD FLOWEES 

gaping, the upper petals and sepals arching over the waved 
lower petal. The scape is smooth and fleshy, terminating in 
a loosely-flowered and many-bracted spike; the bracts are 
dark-green, pointed, and leaf-like; the root a bundle of 
round white fibres; the leaves, two in number, are large, 
blunt, oblong, shining, smooth, and oily, from three to five 
inches long, one larger and more pointed than the other. 
The flowering time of the species is May and June. The 
exquisite cellular tissues of many of our flowers of this 
order delight the eye and give an appearance of great 
delicacy and grace to the blossoms. In this charming 
species the contrast between the lilac purple color of the 
arching petals and sepals and the almost pellucid lower lip, 
or somewhat broadly-lobed under petal, is very charming. 
The large shining leaves lie close to the ground when the 
plant is in flower. Transplanted to gardens the Showy 
Orchis rarely survives the second season of removal from 
the forest shade. It will not grow freely exposed to cold 
wind or glaring sunlight. It loves moist heat; the con- 
servatory would probably suit it, and it would be worth a 
trial there, or in the grove or wilderness, or at the root of 
a large tree near water. 

WILD GARLIC WILD LEEK Allium tricoccum (Ait.). 

As soon as the warm rays of early spring sunbeams have 
melted the snow in the woods we see the bright closely- 
folded and pointed leaves of the Wild Garlic, or Wild 
Leek, as it is commonly called, piercing through the carpet 
of dead leaves that thickly covers over the rich black 
mould, the refuse of many years of former decayed foliage. 
The cattle, that have been for many months deprived of 
green food, eagerly avail themselves of the first appearance 

4 49 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

of the succulent and welcome leaves of the Garlic. The 
milk of the cows becomes so strongly flavored with the dis- 
agreeable odor of the oily vegetable that the milk and 
butter are rejected, and can only be used by persons who 
are indifferent to the nature of their food; the generality of 
people turn away with a feeling of disgust from leeky butter 
and leeky milk. It is, however, a consolation to the thrifty 
farmer to know that, like many other evils, it has its pallia- 
tive. The cows and oxen, that have been brought low in flesh 
and strength during the long, hard winter, are speedily 
restored to health by feasting upon this otherwise objection- 
able food. 

It is a pleasant plant to the eye, the rich verdure of the 
broad succulent leaves springing so freshly where all was 
barren and unsightly; and, later in the season, the tall 
heads of pretty pale blossoms are not without attraction, 
though not nice to place in a bouquet of sweeter flowers. 

Before so many extensive tracts of forest had been cut 
down the Wild Garlic was to be found in all beech and 
maple woods. But it is becoming very rare, and one hears 
no more complaints of leeky milk and butter. 

PHLOX Phlox divaricata (L.). 

We have in Canada several species of this family, and 
all are worthy of cultivation. Phlox divaricata is found on 
dry grassy wastes by forest roads, in shady spots. It is a 
plant of slender growth, about twelve or eighteen inches 
high, with slender lanceolate pointed leaves somewhat clasp- 
ing the stem; flowers in a flat spreading head terminal on 
the slightly-stalked branches; corolla salver-shaped, prim- 
rose-like; calyx with slender pointed sepals; color of the 
petals pale lilac, scalloped at the edges. It is an elegant 

50 



NATIVE WILD FLOWEKS 

species. A small variety of this beautiful flower has also 
been found in low meadows near the Ottawa river, growing 
in great profusion in some of the north-eastern townships, 
where its beautiful bluish flowers formed an attractive 
feature in the landscape. 

A gentleman who had an especial love for the beauties of 
nature was much struck with the beauty of this very lovely 
flower, and brought home some roots; the plant was then 
in full bloom. They continued to flourish till the following 
spring, when they disappeared entirely. The leaves were 
of a full rich glossy green, delicately fringed with silky 
purplish hairs; flowers not so large as the P. divaricata 
found here; heads loose on long footstalks springing from 
between the slightly-clasping leaves; roots white, fibrous. 

A charming little dwarf Phlox is that known by the gar- 
deners as Moss Pink, or Lake Erie Moss. The slender pointed 
grassy-looking foliage and abundant pink flowers, together 
with its low tufted growth and hardy character, make it 
most valuable as an edging for flower beds. It comes early 
and remains for some time in bloom, and even when the blos- 
soms have faded the bright cheerful verdure that remains has 
a good effect as a pretty edging to the beds. It grows in large 
cushion-like plots when not used as an edging for borders. 

GOLD THREAD Coptis trifolia (Salisb.). 

In the deep shady forest we are attracted by the bright 
glossy thrice-parted (trifoliate) leaves of this pretty plant. 
In early spring its delicate white starry flowers, on upright 
slender footstalks, appear, just peeping above the mosses 
among which it delights to grow. The modest pearly- 
white star-shaped blossoms contrast well with the dark 
evergreen shining leaves and orange thready rootlets that 

51 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

may be seen among the light feathery mosses, hardly con- 
cealed, for they are barely covered by the mould in which 
they grow. The orange fibrous roots and rootlets are 
Intensely bitter, and are much used by the old settlers as 
tonic remedies against weakness in children when brought 
low by fever and ague; more especially is it used as a 
wash for sore ulcerated mouths, as thrush in young infants. 
The Indian women use it for their little ones in case of sore 
mouth and sore gums in teething. I once saw the small 
evergreen leaves of the Gold Thread applied to a very 
different purpose that of trimming evening dresses of 
clear white muslin and as the heat of the room had little 
effect on them they looked fresh and singularly ornamental 
on the young ladies who had so tastefully arranged the 
leaves on their simple white dresses. 

I have noticed the term " Gold Thread " applied lately to 
one of the species of Dodder, that singular parasite, but it 
was by a person apparently unacquainted with our elegant 
little forest evergreen Coptis trifolia. 

BUNCH-BERRY SQUAW-BERRY Cornus Canadensis (Lin.). 

This elegant and attractive little plant is met with most 
commonly in beds beneath the shade of evergreens, hem- 
locks and spruces; it multiplies by its creeping rootstock 
as well as by the drupe-like berry. Its popular name in 
the backwoods is the Squaw-berry, and also Bunch-berry. 
It is a truly lovely little plant a perfect forest gem. 

In height our tiny Dogwood rarely exceeds four or six 
inches; the stem is leafy, the upper leaves forming a whorl 
round the flowers, which are enclosed by the white corolla- 
like involucre; the latter is more conspicuous than the tiny 
terminal umbel of little flowers with their dark anthers. 

52 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

The flowers are succeeded by small round berries, which 
become brilliantly scarlet by the end of the summer, appear- 
ing like a bright red coral ring surrounded by the whorl of 
dark green somewhat pointed veiny leaves. 

From its love of shady damp soil this little plant would 
grow under cultivation if suitable localities were selected 
in shrubberies, among evergreens, and in rock-work not 
much exposed to the sun. This low Cornel is very orna- 
mental both in flower and fruit. The berries are sweet but 
insipid. The Indian women and children eat them and 
say, " Good to eat for Indian." The taste of the Indian is 
so simple and uncultivated that he will eat any fruit or 
vegetable that is innocuous, apparently indifferent to its 
flavor. 

The poor squaw gathers her handful of berries and goes 
her way contented with her forest fare, from which the 
more luxurious children of civilization would turn away 
with contempt, or admire their beauty, possibly, and then 
cast them away as worthless. Few indeed think of the 
lessons that may be learned even from the humblest forest 
flower, speaking to their hearts of the loving care of the 
great Creator, who provideth alike for all His creatures. 
He openeth His hand and filleth all things living with 
plenteousness. 

There are, among other species of the Dogwood family 
that might be enumerated as indigenous to this western 
part of Canada, some with blue berries, some with white,, 
some with red, and others with dark steel-colored fruit. The- 
dwarf Cornel (C. Canadensis) is the smallest species; the 
rough, bushy round-leaved C. circinata the second; C. florida 
the largest: all are tonics, and bitter; some are used in 
medicine, others in dyeing, by the natives. The berries of 
several species are largely sought for as food by the wild 

53 



STUDIES OP PLANT LIFE 

ducks that haunt the borders of marshes and lake shores 
where these shrubs abound. 

The Cornel seems to have a wide geographical range, it 
being found not only in the Eastern States of North 
America, but in the colder parts of Canada, westerly and 
northerly, and extending even to the borders of the Arctic 
Zone. I have before me a specimen of a closely allied 
species from North Cape, Norway, which was gathered by 
a friend among the dark evergreen glades of that far-off 
land. The tiny plant is smaller and has a more pinched 
and starved look than our more vigorous plant, otherwise 
there is no apparent difference. The early frosts of Autumn 
give a pretty purple shade to the surface of the leaves of 
our little forest Dogwood, but they do not wither, remain- 
ing fresh and persistent through the winter beneath the 
snow. 

TWISTED STALK Streptopus roseus (Mx.). 

This is a graceful plant, with pretty pink-spotted bells, 
belonging to the Lily family. We find it in -the forests as 
well as in open grassy thickets. The stalk is divided into 
two or three branches, bearing on the underside several 
pairs of graceful pendent bells on thready twisted foot- 
stalks. The tips of the segments are pointed and slightly 
Tecurved. The berries are red, round and seeded with 
several hard bony nutlets. The flower is scentless. The 
foliage is of a light yellowish green, many nerved, oval and 
pointed. Associated with this there often may be found in 
the deep shade of pine woods, as well as in the rich black 
leaf mould of the hardwood forest, the False Solomon's 
Seal (Polygonatum biflorum L.), which has pale greenish- 
tinged bells and large blue berries. The leaves are of a 

54 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

dark bluish green. The stem is simple and bends grace- 
fully. The flowers, notwithstanding the name, are mostly 
solitary. Our woods hide within their shades many a 
lovely flower seen only by the Indian hunter and the back- 
woods lumberer or the axe man; by the former they are 
noted for some medicinal or healing quality, by the latter 
they are trodden under foot, while to the uneducated settler 
whose business it is to clear the forest land of the trees and 
wild productions of the soil, on which the life-supporting 
grain and roots are to be sown or planted, . these natural 
beauties have no value or charm, and he says, " Cut them 
down, why cumber they the ground." In these things he 
sees not the works of the Creator; they are, in his eyes, 
" weeds, weeds, weeds, nothing but weeds." 

Our Bellworts and Trilliums, Smilacinas and Orchids are 
among the most interesting and attractive of our native forest 
flowers, but as the woods are levelled and the soil changed 
by exposure to the influence of the elements and the intro- 
duction of foreign plants, these native beauties disappear, 
and soon the eye that saw and marked their lovely forms 
and colors will see them no more. 

MAY-APPLE MANDRAKE Podophyllum peltatum (L.). 

(PLATE VI II.) 

The Mandrake, or May-apple, is found chiefly in the rich 
black soil of the forest, where partially clear of underwood; 
in such localities it forms extensive beds. When the broad 
umbrella-like leaf first breaks the soil, early in May, it 
comes up closely folded round the simple fleshy stem, in 
color of a deep bronze or coppery hue, smooth and shining, 
but assuming a lighter shade of green as it expands. The 
blossom appears first as a large round green bud between 

55 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

the axils of the two broad peltate, lobed and shining leaves; 
the first year's leaves are single and smaller, and the young 
plant is fiowerless. 

The corolla of the flower consists of from six to nine con- 
cave greenish- white thick petals; sepals (or calyx leaves), 
six; the edges of the petals are generally torn or ragged; 
the handsome flower, slightly drooping between the two 
large leaves, gives out a powerful scent, not agreeable if 
inhaled too closely, but pleasant at a little distance. 

The plant increases by buds from the thickly matted 
fleshy root-stock; the roots form a singular network under 
the soft vegetable mould, spreading horizontally, at every 
articulation sending up a pair of fruit-bearing scapes. A 
single-leafed plant is most probably a seedling of the former 
year. 

The fruit of the May-apple is a large fleshy berry; the 
outer rind when ripe is yellow, otherwise darkish-green 
and of a rank, unpleasant flavor; the inner or pulpy part 
is white, soft, and filled with somewhat bony light-brown 
seeds. When not over-ripe this pulpy part may be eaten; 
it is sub-acid and pleasant. The fruit makes a fine preserve 
with white sugar and when flavored with lemon-peel and 
ginger, but the outer coat I would not make use of. The 
fruit is ripe in August, and should be gathered when the 
first yellow spots on the outer coat indicate ripeness, and 
laid in a sunny window for a few days. 

The medicinal value of the root of this remarkable plant 
is now so well established that it has superseded the use of 
calomel in complaints of the liver with most medical 
practitioners in this country, but so powerful are its pro- 
perties that it should never be used by unskilful persons. 
Ignorant persons have been poisoned by mistaking the 
leaves for those of the Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) 

56 



PLAT!. 




PLATE VIII. 

1. False Mitrewort (Tiarclla cordifolia). P. 16. 

2, May-apple (Podophyllum pcltatum). P. 55. 





slight.]; 

powerf-: 
, but pleasant a 

by buds from 
-fock; the roots form 

)>le mould, spreading hor' 
articulation Heading jip a pair of fruit 
single-leafed plant llirig of 



n 



.IIIV 3TAJ1 



.S 






gii)g 

. 





JTOW3lJtM 

mullydqcbo^) slqqjs 

!ight-b 

may t 

' 

a ut] 
:le plant 

medical 

its pro- 

T>ersons. 

the 

dustris) 






PLATE VIII. 




NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

and using them as a pot herb. A case of this kind occurred 
some years ago whereby several persons were poisoned. 
At that time there was no attempt made by the backwoods 
settlers to cultivate vegetables, and they made use of many 
of the wild herbs with very little knowledge of their sana- 
tive or injurious qualities. 

AMERICAN BROOKLIME Veronica Americana (Schw.). 

(PLATE XVII.) 

" Flowers spring up and die ungathered." 

Bryant. 

In the language of flowers the blossoms of the Veronica, 
or Speedwell, are said to mean undying love or constancy, 
but the blossoms of the Speedwell are fugacious, falling 
quickly, and therefore, one would say, not a good emblem 
of the endurance of love or friendship. 

Sweet, simple flowers are the wild Veronicas, chiefly 
inhabiting damp overflowed ground, the borders of weedy 
ponds and brooks, whence the names of Brooklime and 
Marsh Speedwell, Water Speedwell, and the like. Some 
of the species are indeed found mostly growing on dry hills 
and grassy banks, cheering the eye of the passing traveller 
with their slender spikes of azure flowers. This species is 
often known by the pretty name of Forget-me-not, though it 
is not the true " Forget-me-not," which is Myosotis palustris y 
also with the rest of its family called " Scorpion-grass," 
from the small buds, before expansion, having the petals 
twisted and forming a small coil at the tips of the branches. 
The American Brooklime is one of the prettiest of the native 
Veronicas, and may easily be recognized by its branching 
spikes of blue flowers and veiny partially heart-shaped 
leaves. It is but little that we have to say of our pretty 

57 



STUDIES OP PLANT LIFE 

native wilding, for its delicacy and harmless qualities are 
all that require notice about it. The traveller passes it by 
with scarcely a commendatory glance; its fleeting pale blue 
scentless blossoms, which fall at a touch, scarcely attract 
the little children when gathering flowers by the wayside 
brooks. It remains with the true lover of flowers, even if 
they be only homely weeds, to examine and appreciate the 
inimitable beauty and wisdom shown in their several parts, 
each so wisely fitted to perform its part according to the 
Divine Maker's will. 

WOOD GERANIUM Geranium maculatum (L.). 

(PLATE VI.) 

There are but few flowers of the Cranesbill family in 
Canada. The one most worthy of notice is the Wood 
Geranium. This is a very ornamental plant; its favorite 
locality is in open grassy thickets, among low bushes, 
especially those tracts of country known as " oak openings," 
where it often reaches to the height of from two to three 
feet, throwing out many branches adorned with deep lilac 
flowers; the half-opened buds are very lovely. The blossom 
consists of five petals, obtuse, and slightly indented on their 
upper margins, and is lined and delicately veined with 
purple. The calyx consists of five pointed sepals; stamens 
ten; the anthers are of a reddish brown; styles five, 
cohering at the top. When the seed is mature these curl 
up, bearing the ripe brown seed adhering to the base of 
each one. The common name, Cranesbill, has been derived 
from the long grooved and stork-like beak composed of the 
styles. The Greek name of the plant means a crane. The 
whole plant is more or less beset with silvery hairs. The 
leaves are divided into about five principal segments; these 

58 



NATIVE WILD FLOWEKS 

again are lobed and cut into sharply pointed irregularly 
sized teeth. The larger hairy root-leaves are often dis- 
colored with red and purplish blotches, whence the specific 
name maculatum (spotted) has been given to this species. 

The flower-stem is much branched and is furnished with 
leafy bracts; the principal flowers are on long stalks, 
usually three springing from a central branch and again 
subdividing into smaller branchlets, terminating in buds, 
mostly in threes, on drooping slender pedicels; as the older 
and larger blossoms fall off a fresh succession appears on 
the side branches, furnishing rather smaller but equally 
beautiful flowers. Gray gives the blooming season of the 
Cranesbill from April to July, but with us it rarely 
appears before June and may be seen all through July and 
August. Besides being very ornamental, our plant possesses 
virtues which are well-known to the herbalist as powerful 
astringents, which quality has obtained for it the name of 
Alum-root among the country people, who use a decoction 
of the root as a styptic for wounds, and, sweetened, as a 
gargle for sore throat and ulcerated mouth ; it is also given 
to young children to correct a lax state of the system. 
Thus our plant is remarkable for its usefulness as well as 
for its beauty. A low-growing showy species, with large 
rose-colored flowers and much dissected leaves, may be 
found on some of the rocky islets in Stoney Lake, Ontario. 
The slender flower-stem is about six inches in height, 
springing from a leafy involucre, which is cut and divided 
into many long and narrow segments; flowers, generally 
from one to three, terminal on the little bracted footstalks; 
the seed vessels not so long as in the Wood Geranium. 

Besides the above-named we have some smaller species, 
such as the well-known Herb Robert ( G. Robertianum L. ) , 
which is said to have been introduced from Britain but is 

59 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

by no means uncommon in Canada. It is usually found in 
half-cleared woodlands and by waysides, attracting the eye 
by its bright pink flowers and elegantly cut leaves, which 
become bright red in the fall of the year. This pretty 
species is notorious for its rank and disagreeable odor, and 
so it is generally passed by as a weed in spite of its very 
pretty pink blossoms. 

Another small-flowered species, with pale insignificant 
blossoms, is also common as a weed by roadsides and in 
open woods; this is O. pusillum, smaller Cranesbill. It 
also resembles the British plant, but is of too frequent 
occurrence in remote localities to lead us to suppose it to 
be otherwise than a, native production of the soil ; we find 
it often in very remote places in our forest clearings and 
road-side wastes. 

CHICKWEED WINTERGREEN STARFLOWER Trientalis 
Americana (Pursh). 

(PLATE VI.) 

This pretty starry-flowered little plant is remarkable for 
the occurrence of the number seven in its several parts; it 
was for some time cherished by botanists of the old school 
as the representative of the class Heptandria. 

The calyx is seven-parted; the divisions of the delicate 
white corolla also are seven, and the stamens seven. The 
leaves form a whorl at the upper part of the stem, mostly 
from five to seven or eight, and are narrow, tapering 
at both ends, of a delicate light-green, thin in texture, and 
of a pleasant sub-acid flavor. The star-shaped flowers, few 
in number, on thread-like stalks, rise from the centre of 
the whorl of leaves, which thus forms an involucre to the 
pretty delicate starry flowers. This little plant is fre- 
quently found at the roots of trees; it is fond of shade, 

60 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

/ 

and in light vegetable mould forms considerable beds; the 
roots are white, slender and fibrous; it is one of our early 
May flowers, though, unless the month be warm and genial, 
it will delay its opening somewhat later. In olden times, 
when the herbalists gave all kinds of fanciful names to the 
wild plants, they would have bestowed such a name as 
" Herbe Innocence " upon our modest little forest flower. 

LARGE BLUE FLAG FLEUR-DE-LUCE Iris versicolor (L.). 

" Lilies of all kinds, 
The fleur-de-luce being one." 

Winter's Tale. 

This beautiful flower abounds all through Canada and 
forms one of the ornaments of our low sandy flats, marshy 
meadows and overflowed lake shores; it delights in wet, 
muddy soil, and often forms large clumps of verdure in 
half-dried ponds and similar localities. Early in spring, as 
soon as the sun has warmed the waters after the melting of 
the ice, the sharp sword-shaped leaves, escaping from the 
sheltering sheath that enfolded them, pierce the moist 
ground and appear in the form of beds of brilliant verdure 
concealing the swampy soil and pools of stagnant water 
below. Late in the month of June the bursting buds of 
rich purple begin to unfold, peeping through the spathe 
that envelopes them. A few days of sunshine and the grace- 
ful petals, so soft and silken in texture, so variable in 
shades of color, unfold : the three outer ones, reflexed, droop 
gracefully downwards, while the three innermost, which are 
of paler tint, sharper and stiffer, stand erect and conceal 
the stamens and petal-like stigmas, which lie behind them 
an arrangement so suitable for the preservation of the 
fructifying organs of the flower that we cannot fail to 

61 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

behold in it the wisdom of the great Creator. The structure 
of the cellular tissue in most water plants* and the smooth 
oily surface of their leaves, have also been provided as a 
means of throwing off the moisture to which their place 
of growth must necessarily expose them; but for this 
wise provision, which keeps the surface dry though sur- 
rounded with water, the plants would become overcharged 
with moisture and rot and decay too rapidly to perfect the 
ripening of their seeds a process often carried on at the 
bottom of streams and lakes, as in the case of the Water- 
lily and other aquatics. Our blue Iris, however, does not 
follow this rule, being only partly an aquatic; it stands 
erect and ripens the large bony three-sided seeds in a 
three-sided membraneous pod. ' The hard seeds of the Iris 
versicolor have been roasted and used as a substitute for 
coffee. The root, which is creeping, fleshy and tuberous, 
is possessed of medicinal qualities. 

The name Iris, as applied to this genus, was bestowed 
upon it by the ancient Greeks ever remarkable for their 
appreciation of the beautiful on account of the rainbow 
tinted hues displayed in the flowers of many of the species; 
especially are the prismatic colors shown in the flowers of 
the large pearly-white garden Iris, a plant of Eastern 
origin. 

The Fleur-de-lis, as it was formerly written, signified 
whiteness or purity. This was changed to Fleur-de-luce, a 
corruption of Fleur-de-Louis the blossoms of the plant 
having been selected by Louis the Seventh of France as his 
heraldic bearing in the Holy Wars. The flowers of the 
Iris have ever been favorites with the poet, the architect, 
and sculptor, as many a fair specimen wrought in stone 
and marble or carved in wood can testify. 

The Fleur-de-lis is still the emblem of France. 

62 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

Longfellow's stanzas to the Iris are very characteristic of 
that graceful flower: 

" Beautiful lily dwelling by still river, 

Or solitary mere, 

Or where the sluggish meadow brook delivers 
Its waters to the weir. 

" The wind blows, and uplifts thy drooping banner, 

And around thee throng and run 
The rushes, the green yeomen of thy manor 
The outlaws of the sun. 

*' O fleur-de-luce, bloom on, and let the river 

Linger to kiss thy feet ; 

O flower of song, bloom on, and make forever 
The world more fair and sweet." 

SHIN-LEAF SWEET WINTERGREEN Pyrola elliptica (Nutt.). 

(PLATE XVII.) 

" Wandering far in solitary paths where wild flowers blow, 
There would I bless His name." 

Heber. 

The familiar name Wintergreen is applied by the Cana- 
dians to many species of dwarf evergreen plants, without 
any reference to their natural affinities. The beautiful 
family of Pyrola shares this name, in common with many 
other charming forest flowers, on account of their evergreen 
habit. 

Every member of this interesting family is worthy of 
special notice. Elegant in form and coloring, of a delicate 
fragrance and enduring verdure, they add to their many 
attractions the merit of being almost the first green things 
to refresh the eye long wearied by gazing on the dazzling 
white of the snow for many consecutive months during 
winter. 

As the dissolving crust disappears from the forest beneath 

63 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

the kindly influence of the transient sunbeams of early 
spring, the deep glossy-green shoots of the hardy Pyrola 
peep forth, not timidly, as if afraid to meet 

" The snow and blinding sleet ; " 

not shrinking from the chilling blast that too often nips 
the fair promise of April and May, but boldly and cheer- 
fully braving the worst that the capricious season has in 
store for such early risers. 

All bright and fresh and glossy, our Wintergreens come 
forth as though they had been perfecting their toilet within 
the sheltering canopy of their snowy chambers to do honor 
to the new-born yea*r, just awakening from her icy sleep. 

P. elliptica forms extensive beds in the forest, the roots 
creeping with running subterranean shoots, which send up 
clusters of evergreen leaves, slightly waved and scalloped 
at the edges, of a deep glossy green and thin in texture. 

The name Pyrola is derived from a fancied likeness in the 
foliage to that of the pear, but this is not very obvious; 
nevertheless we will not cavil at it, for it is a pretty 
sounding word, far better than many a one that has been 
bestowed upon our showy wild flowers in compliment to the 
person who first brought them into notice. 

The pale greenish-white flowers of our Pyrola form a tall 
terminal raceme; the five round petals are hollow; each 
blossom set on a slender pedicel, at the base of which is a 
small pointed bract; the anthers are of a reddish orange 
color, the stamens ascending in a cluster, while the long 
style is declined, forming a figure somewhat like the letter J. 
The seed vessel is ribbed, berry-shaped, slightly flattened 
and turbinate; when dry, the light chaffy seeds escape 
through valves at the sides. The dry style in this, and most 
of the genus, remains persistent on the capsule. 

64 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

The number five prevails in this plant; the calyx is five- 
parted; petals five; stamens ten, or twice five; stigma 
one, but five-rayed, with five knobs or tubercles at the 
apex; seed-vessel five-celled and five-valved. The flowers 
are generally from five to ten on the scape. 

Most of our Pyrolas are remarkable for the rich fragrance 
of their flowers, especially P. elliptica, and P. rotundifolia, 
together with its variety incarnata. 

ONE-SIDED PYROLA P. sccunda (L.). 

This little evergreen plant is singular rather than pretty. 
The flowers, which are greenish white, form a one-sided 
slender raceme, being all turned to one side of the flower- 
stem; the style is long and straight, exceeding the stamens 
and anthers the latter are very dark, almost dusky black; 
the stigma, thick and ribbed, forms a turban-shaped green 
knob in the centre of the flower; stigmas persistent on the 
capsule. The foliage is dark green, smooth, serrated at the 
margin of each oval leaf. The leaves are clustered at the 
base of the flower-stem on foot-stalks, leafing the stem 
upwards a little. The plant is found in dry woods and on 
banks, under the shade of trees. The flower is scentless. 

KOUND-LEAVED LESSER PYROLA Pyrola rotundifolia (L.), 
var. incarnata (Gray). 

is a far more attractive flower, with a few sweet fragrant 
pink blossoms and small round or kidney-shaped dark green 
leaves. Like the sweet violet of Old Country hedgerows, it 
betrays its presence by its fine perfume, though often deep 
hidden among the mosses and weeds which are found in the 
peat-bogs where it grows. We have yet another Pyrola, 

5 65 



STUDIES OP PLANT LIFE 

with round green bell-shaped flowers and dark-tipped 
anthers. This is Pyrola chlorantha (Swartz). 

Though we have none of the heaths that clothe the hills 
and common-lands of Scotland and England, we have a 
large number of beautiful and highly ornamental as well 
as useful plants and flowering shrubs belonging to the 
Natural Order Ericaceae, which are widely diffused all 
over the northern and eastern portions of the continent; 
wherever there exists a similarity in climate, soil and 
altitude of the land, there we may expect to find members 
of the same natural orders. Thus we find spread over the 
northern and eastern portions of this continent plants that 
are common to northern European countries; we have repre- 
sentatives of many familiar flowers, belonging to such 
families as the Lily, Rose, Violet, Phlox, Saxifrage, Mint, 
Dogwood, Pyrola, and Campanula in fact we cannot 
enumerate the half of what we recognize in our woodlands 
and plains. It is true that the eye of the botanist will dis- 
cover some differences in the species, but in most instances 
these are so little apparent that a casual observer would 
not notice them. The Pyrola has its representative flower 
in England ; the Linnsea in Norway. Our pretty Smilacina 
~bifolia, or " Wild Lily of the Valley,"* and our Low Cornel 
are also found, with many of our native ferns, in that 
northern land of mountain, flood and forest. 

It is pleasant to recognize an Qld familiar flower it is 
like the face of an old friend in a foreign country, bringing 
back the memory of days lang syne when the flowers that 
we gathered in our childhood were a joy and a delight to 
heart and eye. 

"See plate IX. 



66 








1ATE IX. 

1. Painted Trillium (Trillium erythrocarpum). P. 3i 

2. Wild Lily of the Valley (Smilacina bifolia). P. 

3. Flowering Wintergreen (Poly gala paucifolia). P. 17. 









ped 



aid ikn 

which 
;m<l easUTii \> 
".ere exiwts a similarity 
altitude of the land, there we may e.\ 
of tin- same natural orders. Thus w 

northern and eastern portions of this continent plants that 

omnion to ifln-thern E 1 pre- 

sentatives of i ^j g-r/^jq ''.^ n g ^ snc<a 

families . Jint, 

,8C .^ .(muqij6ooiHj>o3 muillhT 

yslUV 






in I, 

nortl' 

It is } 
like the face of 

i in ou? 






bliW . , J1(ls 
C 

rver would 
flower 

Cornel 
in that 






it is 

'ringing 

ihat 

ight to 






PLATE IX. 




NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

ONE-FLOWERED PYROLA Moneses uniflora (Gray). 

(PLATE XVII.) 

This exquisitely scented flower is found only in the 
shade of the forest, in rich black leaf mould, where, like 
P. elliptica, it forms considerable beds; it is of evergreen 
habit. The leaves are of a dark green and smooth surface, 
clustered at the base of short stems which rise from the 
running root-stock, from the centre of each of which rises 
one simple scape bearing a gracefully nodding flower ; 
each milk-white petal is elegantly scalloped; the stamens, 
eight to ten, are set close to the base of the petals; the 
anthers are of a bright purple-amethyst color; the style 
straight, with five radiating points at the extremity, form- 
ing a perfect mural crown in shape; it is bright green and 
much exceeds in length the stamens. 

The scent of the flower is very fine, resembling in richness 
that of the hyacinth. 

The members of the Pyrola family are, for the most 
part, found in rich woods, some in low, wet ground, but 
a few prefer the drier soil of forests; one of these is the 
exquisitely beautiful evergreen plant known by Canadian 
settlers as 

PRINCE'S PINE Chimaphila umbellata (Nutt.), 

From root to summit this plant is altogether lovely. The 
leaves are dark, shining and smooth, evergreen and finely 
serrated; the stem is of a bright rosy red; the delicately 
pink-tinted flowers look as if moulded from wax; the 
anthers are of a bright amethyst-purple, set round the- 
emerald-green turbinated stigma. The flowers are not 
many, but form a loose corymb springing from the centre 
of the shining green leaves. There is scarcely a more 

67 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

attractive native plant than the Chimaphila in our Cana- 
dian flora. 

The leaves of this beautiful Wintergreen are held in high 
estimation by the Indian herbalists, who call it Eheumatism 
Weed (Pipsissewa). It is bitter and aromatic in quality. 

LUPINE Lupinus perennis (L.). 

(PLATE V.) 
" Lupine, whose azure eye sparkles with dew." 

Those who know the Blue Lupine only as a cultivated 
flower can form but a poor idea of its beauty in its wild 
state on the rolling prairies or plain-lands. 

On light loamy 01* sandy soil our gay Lupine may be seen 
gladdening the wastes and purpling the ground with its 
long spikes of azure blue, white and purple flowers of 
many shades. 

The Lupine comes in with the larger yellow Moccasin 
(Cypripedium pubescens) ; the Trillium grandiflorum; the 
white Pyrola, Wild Rose (Rosa blanda) ; Scarlet-cup 
(Castilleia coccinea) and many others in the flowery month 
of June; mingling its azure flowers with these, it produces 
an effect most pleasing to the eye. 

The blossoms, like those of all the Pulse tribe to which it 
belongs, are papilionaceous or winged. The two upper 
petals or wings are concave, closing over the scythe-shaped 
keel which encloses the stamens; these are united into a 
bundle at the base (this arrangement is called by botanists 
monadelphous). The sheath that conceals the stamens is 
entire, pointed and varying in color from white to reddish- 
purple. The flowers are set on short pedicels or flower 
stalks, forming a close long terminal raceme, the lower 
flowers opening first. The stem is leafy, erect, downy; the 
leaves, on longish footstalks, are composed of from seven to 

68 



NATIVE WILD FLOWEKS 

nine soft grayish silky leaflets set round the central axis 
of the stalk in a horizontal circle. The whole plant is soft 
and velvety in appearance. The pods are long and some- 
what broad. The seeds are ivory white when fully ripe, and 
are the food of squirrels, partridges, field-mice and other 
wild denizens of the wilderness. The Lupine can be readily 
grown from seed, and blooms well in our garden plots, 
abiding with us year after year. The ivory white seeds are 
often introduced into those pretty, fanciful wreaths fre- 
quently exhibited at our township shows, and known as the 
" Farmer's Wreath," being composed of different varieties 
of grain and seeds arranged so as to form flowers, leaves, 
fruits, etc. 

Before the plain-lands above Rice Lake were enclosed and 
cultivated, the extensive grassy flats were brilliant with the 
azure hues of the Lupine in the months of June and July; 
but the progress of civilization swept these fair ornaments 
from the soil. What the lover of the country loses of the 
beautiful is gained by the farmer in the increase of the 
useful, and so it must be; but nevertheless we mourn for 
the beautiful things which gladdened our eyes. 

" Oh, wail for the forest, its glories are o'er." 

TWINFLOWER Linncea borealis (Gronov.). 

" Nestled at its roots is beauty 
Such as blooms not in the glare 
Of the broad sun. That delicate forest flower 
With scented breath, and look so like a smile, 
Seems, as it issues from the shapeless mould, 
An emanation from the indwelling life." 

Bryant. 

" And there Linnsea weaves her rosy wreath." 

This delicate and graceful little evergreen is widely 
diffused through most of the northern countries of Europe 
and America. It is found within the limits of the Arctic 

69 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

Circle; in dreary Kamschatka and in snowy Lapland the 
young girls wreathe their hair with its flexible garlands. 
In inhospitable Labrador it covers the rocks and mossy 
roots of pines and birches in lonely shaded glens. It is 
found in the Scottish Highlands and through all parts of 
the Northern and Eastern States of America. In all the 
provinces of our own Canada it may be found in secluded 
spots. On the rocky islands of the St. Lawrence and on 
our inland lakes it is particularly abundant; its graceful 
trailing branches cover the rude rocks and fling a robe of 
luxuriant vegetation over decaying fallen timber, concealing 
that which is unseemly with grace and beauty. 

" Sweet flo'wer, that in the lonely wood 
And tangled forest clothest the rude twisted roots 
Of lofty pine and feathery hemlock 
With thy flower-decked garland ever reen ; 
Thy modest, drooping rosy bells of fairy lightness 
Wave gently to the passing breeze, 
Diffusing fragrance." 

This pretty, graceful little plant was named in honor of 
the great father of botany, the good Linnaeus, who chose it 
more especially as his own flower when he plucked it first 
in Bothnia, and by his wish it Avas adopted for the crest of 
his coat-of-arms. 

The little flower has been immortalized by the great 
botanist. It is said that one of his pupils, aware of his 
great master's love for the plant, when visiting China, 
caused a service of fine porcelain to be made and decorated 
with wreaths of the Linnaea, as a present to Linnaeus and 
as a mark of his grateful remembrance. 

At the death of the great naturalist, Cardinal de Noailles 
erected a cenotaph in his garden to his memory, and planted 
this little northern flower at its base for the sake of him 
whose name it bears.* 

* See Miss Brightwell's Life of Linnaeus. 

70 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

At every joint the Linnsea puts forth white fibrous 
rootlets, thus increasing and perpetuating the growth of 
the plant till it forms a tangled mass of leafy branches. 
The leaves are round, slightly crenate, with a deeper notch 
at the top, and together with the younger stalks are some- 
what hairy. They are placed in opposite pairs, from the 
centre of each of which rises a slender flower stalk, forking 
near the summit and bearing a pair of delicate rose-tinted 
drooping bells, veined with lines of a deeper pink. The 
throat of the bell is tubular, as in the Honeysuckle, and is 
thickly beset with silvery woolly hairs. Stamens four, two 
of them shorter than the others; the corolla is divided near 
the margin into five pointed segments. Seed vessel a dry 
and glandular three-celled but one-seeded pod. 

If planted for cultivation, the ground should be shaded 
and somewhat damp. In an artificial rock-work, sufficiently 
protected from the glare of sunshine and kept moist in hot 
days, it would grow luxuriantly and throw its evergreen 
matted branches over and among the stones with pretty 
effect. The blossoms give out a delicate fragrance, especially 
at dewfall, the scent being scarcely perceptible during the 
noontide heat. 

Our charming Twinflower is very constant in its habits, 
being found year after year in the same locality so long as 
it enjoys the advantages of shade and moisture; it cannot 
endure exposure to the heat and glare of sunshine, though 
it will linger as long as it can obtain any shelter. 

Thirty years ago I found the Linncea borealu growing 
beneath the shade of hemlock trees, among long Sphagnous 
mosses, on the rocky banks of the Otonabee. Last year, 
on re-visiting the same spot, I noticed a few dwarfed 
and starved-looking yellow plants struggling, as it were, for 
existence, but the evergreens that had sheltered them at 
their roots were all gone. 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

There seems to be a law of mutual dependence among 
the vegetable tribes, each one ministering to the wants of 
the others. Thus the shelter afforded by the larger trees 
to the smaller shrubs and herbs is repaid again to them by 
the nourishment that the decaying leaves and stems of these 
latter afford, and by the warmth that they yield to their 
roots in covering the ground from the winter cold, thus 
protecting them from injury. Further than this, it is very 
probable that they appropriate to their own use qualities 
in the soil or in the air that might prove injurious to the 
healthy growth of the larger vegetables. That which is 
taken up by one race of plants is often rejected by others. 
Yet so beautiful is the arrangement of God's economy in the 
vegetable world that something gathers up all fragments 
and nothing is lost nay, not the minutest particle runs to 
waste. The farmer practically acknowledges the principle 
that one kind of vegetable feeds upon that which another 
rejects, when he adopts a certain routine in cropping his 
land, for he knows that if he planted grain in constant 
succession the soil would soon cease to yield its increase, 
because it would have ceased to afford the food necessary 
for perfecting the grain; but he sows wheat after roots, as 
potatoes, turnips and beets, or after pulse, as pease, beans 
or vetches, for these have taken only certain constituents 
of the soil, leaving those portions on which the cereals 
feed unappropriated. Thus silently, unconsciously, and 
mysteriously do God's creatures administer to one another, 
working out the will of their Great Creator and obeying His 
laws while following the instincts of their several natures. 

We might follow this inviting subject to a greater length 
than our limits will admit, but it is time that we dismiss the 
lovely little Twinflower, hoping that it may sometimes 
win an admiring glance from readers who may be 

72 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

so fortunate as to meet with its evergreen wreaths and 
fragrant flowers in its native woods during the leafy month 
of June, which is its flowering season though often it may 
be seen lingering in rocky woods through July, and now 
and then a few late blossoms will be found in shady ground 
late in August. 

EOUND-LEAVED SUNDEW Drosera rotundifolia (L.). 

Two species of this interesting and singular family are 
common in Canada. One, Drosera rotundifolia, with round 
leaves beset with stiff glandular hairs of a deep red color, 
abounds in boggy soil in most parts of the Dominion. 

The beauty of this little plant consists in the hairy 
fringes of the leaves, which exude drops of a clear dew-like 
fluid; each little leaf seems adorned with a row of liquid 
gems, beautiful as pearls and glistening in the sunlight like 
miniature diamonds. 

The round red leaves are prolonged into the petiole, or 
rather the leafstalk is expanded at its edges and terminates 
in the glandular leaf. The flowers are small, white, some- 
times tinged with pink, borne on a slender naked somewhat 
one-sided scape, which droops a little at the tip. I am not 
aware of any medicinal or useful qualities of the Sundews, 
but the eye that sees the beauty set forth in the little dew- 
gemmed leaf of this lovely plant may behold in it with 
reverent admiration a work of creative mind surpassing all 
that man's ingenuity can produce. The jeweller may polish 
and set the ruby and the diamond in fretted gold, but he 
cannot make one ruby-tinted leaf of the little Sundew. 

A rather narrower-leaved species is Drosera longi folia 
(L.), which grows abundantly in a peat marsh near Stoney 
Lake, at a spot known as " Hurricane Point," a rocky cape 

73 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

at the rear of which lies a low marshy flat covering several 
acres of wet ground a rare garden and nursery for many 
charming flowering shrubs and exquisite bog-loving plants. 
A beautiful carpet of white Peat Moss (Sphagnum cymbi- 
folium) is spread over the surface nearly a foot deep; on 
this we see the graceful low-bush Cranberry trailing its 
slender branches with their dark green glossy myrtle- 
like foliage and delicate pink revolute flowers, as well 
as berries in every stage of progress the tiny green 
immature fruit, the golden, the mottled and the deep red 
ripe berry. How tempting to the hand and eye! There 
the slender-leaved Sundew mixes its white flowers with the 
fringed Orchis, sending up from the watery soil its modest 
flowers in the midst of a bed of the grand blossoms of that 
rarely constructed plant, the "Pitcher Plant" (Sarracenia 
purpurea), or, as it is called by some writers, " Side-saddle 
flower."* 

The bog of which I speak abounds in shrubs, among 
which we see the narrow dark-leaved Sheep-laurel (Kalmia 
glauca), with its rose-colored flowers; the aromatic Sweet- 
Gale (Myrica Gale), and Labrador Tea (Ledum latifolium), 
with its revolute rosemary-like narrow leaves and whitish 
flowers. Above all for beauty is the White Peat Moss 
itself, with its soft velvety foliage, varying in shade from 
pale sea-green or creamy-white to delicate pink and deeper 
rose. I know of nothing more lovely than are these 
exquisite Sphagnums; nor are they without their value, for 
they are much used by the florist and gardener in packing 
roots and plants for sale. 

There are more vegetable treasures to be found in the 



* Gray says it is difficult to fancy any resemblance between this flower and a side- 
saddle. I venture to suggest that the common name originated from the flap-like exten- 
sion of the leaf. 

74 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

peat marsh near Hurricane Point than I have noticed. A 
deer track leads beyond this marsh to Fairy Lake. This 
lake is like a mountain tarn; it is surrounded by lofty 
rocks, and is not a mere inlet from Stoney Lake, as it now 
appears, being encircled on all sides by a stony barrier of 
rugged rocks, some rising from the water's edge bare and 
precipitous, or clothed with gray hoary tufts of Cladonias 
and other lichens and mosses. In the clefts may be found 
the somewhat rare Hairy Woodsia (Woodsia Ilvensis) and 
the Rock Polypody (P. vulgare). The last-named is not, 
indeed, an uncommon adornment to the rocky bluffs and 
stony islands of our back lakes, where it enlivens the rugged 
gray rocky surfaces with its bright glossy fronds and 
golden fruit dots. The rocks decline to the side facing the 
larger lake, and towards the western corner there is a bed 
of the White Peat Moss, overshadowed by a forest of that 
grand fern, Osmunda regalis, worthy of its regal name, for 
here, among the soft Sphagnums, and towering to the height 
of five and six feet, it bears above its light green leafage 
(or should I say frondagef) its rich tufts of cinnamon- 
brown sporangia. Beneath the Osmundas, and rising above 
the mosses, the crimson-lipped leaves and large red flowers 
of the Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea) may be seen in 
great perfection. 

These are but a few of the attractions of Fairy Lake, for 
there are flowers and flowering shrubs of many kinds that 
grow in the wild rocky soil. The beautiful spikes of the 
rose-blossomed Spirwa tomentosa, the Hardhack of the 
Indians, and the graceful white Spircea salicifolia, Wild 
Roses, Goldenrods, and Asters, with many others, are 
scattered round this lovely lakelet, rendering it a place of 
interest to the botanist and to the pleasure-seeking tourist. 

75 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

PITCHER PLANT SOLDIER'S DRINKING CUP Sarracenia 

purpurea (L.). 

(PLATE XIV.) 

In passing a bed of these most remarkable plants even 
the most casual observer must be struck by their appear- 
ance. Indeed, from root to flower they are in every way 
worthy of our notice and admiration. 

The Pitcher Plant is by no means one of those flowers 
found only in inaccessible bogs and dense cedar-swamps, as 
are some of our rare and lovely Orchids. In almost any 
grassy swamp, at the borders of low-lying lakes and 
beaver-meadows often in wet, spongy meadows it may 
be found forming large beds of luxuriant growth. 

When wet with , recent showers, or glistening with dew- 
drops, the rich crimson veinings of the broadly-scalloped 
lip of the tubular leaf (which is thickly beset with fine 
stiff silvery hairs) retain the moisture and shine and 
glisten in the sunlight. 

The root-stock is thick and bears many fibres. The 
tubular leaves are of a reddish tinge on the outer and 
convex side, but of a delicate light green within. The 
texture is soft, smooth and leathery; the base of the leaf 
at the root is narrow and pipe-stem-like, expanding into a 
large hollow receptable capable of containing a wine-glass- 
full of liquid; even in dry seasons this cup is rarely found 
empty. The hollow form of the leaves and the broad ewer- 
like lips have obtained for the plant its local and wide- 
spread names of " Pitcher Plant " and " Soldier's Drinking 
Cup." This last name I had from a poor old emigrant 
pensioner who brought me a specimen of the plant from the 
banks of a half-dried up lake near which he was located, with 
the remark : " Many a draught of blessed water have we poor 
soldiers had, when in Egypt, out of the leaves of a plant 

76 



PLATE X. 






PLATE X. 

1. Arrow-head (Sagittaria variabilis). P. 91. 

2. Great Lobelia (Lobelia syphiiitica). P. 139. 

5. Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinal). P. 138. 




. 

. 
. 

<>ot to flov. 
nd admiral 

.it is by no mean* one ot *>rs 

n accessible bogs and dense c* 
Mir rare and lovely Orchis 
imp, at the borders of lo lakes 

lows often in wet, spongy vs it may 

!><> found forming large beds of luxuriant growth. 

When wet with recent s. with ^ 

drops, the rich crimson ** gTAJ^ 

^P ith lino 

.19 <\ .WidATUBv TWigA2) bftad-wonA .1 

.f Cl .S .(oi)iIiHqxz JwfodoJ) fiiladoJ l9iO .S 
.8l .^ ,(2itfinibio jsilsdoJ) iswoR Unib-uO .( XJ H 

and 

' 

fi 

at T -ito a 

large jtvv wine-glass- 

full of liquid; arely found 

empty. The h t ; >road e 

lips have obtairu^I f> 
allies of 4i Pitcher ; 

name I 
Brought me 
Iried up la li- 
the ; a draught < 
soldi 



PLATE X. 




NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

like this, and we used to call it the ' Soldier's Drinking 
Cup/ " 

Most probably the plant that afforded the " blessed 
water " to the poor thirsty soldiers was the Nepenthes 
distillatoria, which plant is found in Egypt and other 
parts of Africa. Perhaps there are but few among the 
inhabitants of this well-watered country that have as fully 
appreciated the value of the Pitcher Plant as did our poor 
uneducated Irish pensioner, who said that he always 
thought that God in His goodness had created the plant to 
give drink to such as were athirst on a hot and toilsome 
march; and so he looked with gratitude and admiration 
on its representative in Canada. 

Along the inner portion of the leaf there is a wing or 
flap which adds to its curious appearance. The evident 
use of this appendage is to contract the inner side of the 
leaf and to produce a corresponding rounding of the outer 
portion, which is thus thrown backwards, enabling the 
moisture more readily to fill the cup and to be there 
retained. Quantities of small flies, beetles and other insects 
enter the pitcher, possibly for shelter, but are unable to get 
out again owing to the reflexed bristly hairs that line the 
upper part of the tube and lip, and thus find a watery grave 
in the moisture that fills the hollow below. 

The tall stately blossom of the Pitcher Plant is not less 
worthy of our attention than the curiously-formed leaves. 
The smooth round simple scape rises from the centre of 
the plant to the height of eighteen inches or two feet. The 
flower is single and terminal, composed of five sepals, 
with three little bracts; five blunt broad petals of a dull 
purplish red color, but sometimes red and light-yellowish 
green; and in one variety the petals are mostly of a pale- 
green hue and there is an absence of the crimson veins in 
the leafage. The petals are incurved or bent downwards 

77 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

toward the centre. The stamens are numerous. The ovary is 
five-celled, and the style is expanded at the summit into a 
five-angled five-rayed umbrella-like scalloped mantle, which 
conceals beneath it five delicate rays, each terminating in a 
little hooked stigma. The capsule, or seed-vessel, is five- 
celled and five-valved; seeds numerous. 

I have been more minute in the description of this 
interesting plant because much of its peculiar organization 
is hidden from the eye and cannot even be recognized in a 
drawing, unless it be a strictly botanical one with all its 
interior parts dissected; and also because the Pitcher 
Plant has lately attracted much attention by its reputed 
medicinal qualities in cases of smallpox, that loathsome 
scourge of the human race. A decoction from the root of 
this plant has been said to lessen all the more violent 
symptoms of the disorder. If this be really so its use 
and application should be widely known ; fortunately, the 
remedy would be within the reach of everyone; like many 
of our sanative herbs, it is to be found without difficulty, 
and being so remarkable in its appearance, can never be 
mistaken by the most ignorant of our country herbalists for 
any injurious substitute.* 

WILD ORANGE LILY Lilium Philadelphicum (Lin.). 

(PLATE XIII.) 

" Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow ; they toil not, neither 
do they spin ; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was 
not arrayed like one of these." 

The word lily is said to be derived from a Celtic word, 
li, which signifies whiteness; also from the Greek lirion. 
Probably the stately Lily of the garden, Lilium candidum? 

* I regret to be compelled to say that later experience has dispelled belief in the 
virtue of the Pitcher Plant, no such good results having been obtained from repeated 
trials in cases of that direful disease, smallpox. 

78 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

was the flower to which the name was first given, from its 
ivory whiteness and the exquisite polish of its petals. 
However that may be, the name lily is ever associated 
in our minds with grace and purity, and reminds us of 
the Saviour of men, who spake of the lilies of the field, 
how they grew and flourished beneath the care of Him who 
clothed them in robes of beauty more gorgeous than the 
kingly garments of Royal Solomon. 

Sir James Smith, one of the most celebrated of English 
botanists, suggests that the flower alluded to by our Lord 
may have been Amaryllis lutea, or the Golden Lily of 
Palestine, the bright yellow blossoms of which abound in 
the fields of Judaea and at that moment probably caught 
His eye, their glowing color aptly illustrating the subject 
on which He was about to speak. 

The Lily family has a wide geographical range, being 
found in some form in every clime. There are lilies that 
bloom within the cold influence of the Frigid Zone, as well 
as the more brilliant species that glow beneath the blazing 
suns of the equator in Africa and southern Asia. 

Dr. Richardson mentions, in his list of Arctic plants, 
Lilium Philadelphicum, our own gorgeous Orange (or rather 
scarlet-spotted) Lily. He remarks that it is called by the 
Esquimaux " Mouse-root," from the fact that it is much 
sought after by the field-mice, which feed upon the root. 
The porcupine also digs for it in the sandy soil in which it 
delights to grow. 

In Kamschatka the Lilium pomponium is used by the 
natives as an article of food, and in Muscovy the white 
Narcissus is roasted as a substitute for bread. 

The healing qualities of the large white Lily roots and 
leaves, when applied in the form of a poultice to sores and 
boils, are well known. Thus are beauty and usefulness, 
united in this most attractive plant. 

79 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

We find the Orange Lily most frequently growing on 
open plain-lands where the soil is sandy loam. In 
partially-shaded grassy thickets in oak-openings, in the 
months of June and July, it may be seen mixed with the 
azure blue Lupine (Lupinus perennis), the golden-flowered 
Moccasin (Cypripedium pubescens}, the large sweet- 
scented Wintergreen (Pyrola elliptica), and other charming 
summer flowers. Among these our gay and gorgeous Lily 
stands conspicuous. 

The stem is from eighteen inches to two feet high. The 
leaves are narrow, pointed, and of a dark green color, 
growing in whorls at intervals round the stem. The 
flowers are from one to three large open bells, of a rich 
orange scarlet within, spotted with purplish brown or black. 
The outer surface of the petals is pale orange; anthers 
six, on long filaments; pollen of a brick red or brown 
color; stigma three-lobed. 

Many flowers increase in beauty of color and size under 
cultivation in our gardens, but our glorious Lily can hardly 
be seen to greater advantage than when growing wild on 
the open plains and prairies under the bright skies of its 
native wilderness. 

HAREBELL Campanula rotundifolia (Lin.). 

(PLATE XIII.) 

" With drooping bells of purest blue 
Thou didst attract my childish view, 

Almost resembling 
The azure butterflies that flew, 
Where 'mid the heath thy blossoms grew, 
So lightly trembling." 

The writer of the above charming lines has also called 
the Harebell " the Flower of Memory," and truly the sight 
of these fair flowers, when found in lonely spots in Canada, 

80 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

has carried one back in thought to the wild heathery moors 
or sylvan lanes of the Mother Country. 

" I think upon the heathery hills 

I ae hae lo'ed sae dearly ; 
I think upon the wimpling burn 
That wandered by sae clearly." 

But sylvan wooded lanes and heathery moorlands are 
not features of our Canadian scenery, and if we would find 
the Harebell we must look for it on the dry gravelly banks 
of lakes and rivers, or on rocky islets, for these are its 
haunts in Canada. 

Although in color and shape of the blossom the Canadian 
flower resembles the British one, and is considered by 
botanists to be the same species, it is less fragile, the flower 
stems being stouter and the footstalk or pedicel stiffer 
and less pendulous; the root-leaves, which are not very 
conspicuous during its flowering season, are round heart- 
shaped. Those of the flower-stem are numerous, narrow, 
and pointed. This pretty flower is variable in color and 
foliage. Its general flowering season is July and August. 

The corolla is bell-shaped or campanulate, five-cleft; 
calyx lobes awl-shaped, persistent on the seed vessel; 
stamens five; style one; stigmas two; seed-vessel several 
celled and many seeded; in height the plant varies from a 
few inches to a foot; the number of flowers vary from a few 
to many. 

We have three common species in Canada: the present 
one, Campanula Americana (Lin.), a large, handsome 
species found in Western Canada; and C. aparinoides 
(Pursh), the Rough-stemmed Bellflower, which is found in 
thickets and swamps. The latter is of a climbing or rather 
clinging habit, the weak slender stem, many-branched, 
laying hold of the grasses and low shrubs that surround 

6 81 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

it for support, which its rough teeth enable it to do very 
effectually; in habit it resembles the smaller Galium, 6r 
Lady's Bed-straw. The graceful bell-shaped flowers are of 
a delicate lavender color. The leaves of this species are 
narrow-linear, rough with minutely-toothed bristles; the 
flowers are few and fade very quickly. The name Cam- 
panula is a diminutive from the Italian campana, a bell. 

The Harebell has often formed the theme of our modern 
poets, as illustrative of grace and lightness. In " The Lady 
of the Lake " we have this pretty couplet, when describing 
Ellen : 

" E'en the light harebell raised its head 
Elastic from her airy tread." 

YELLOW-FLOWERED WOOD-SORREL Oxalis stricta (L.). 

This delicate little flower may be found occasionally by 
the wayside, but is oftener seen among the herbage near 
the borders of cultivated fields. The trifoliate leaves are 
terminal on longish footstalks, thin in texture, and of a 
pleasant acid taste. At sunset, like the clover and other 
trefoils, it droops and folds its leaflets together to sleep, 
for some plants rest as in sleep. This Wood-sorrel is some- 
what branching and bushy; the pale yellow blossoms are 
on long stalks, fading very soon. There is also another 
species Oxalis Acetosella (L.) white with purple vein- 
ings, a lovely delicate thing of great beauty, which is 
found on damp mossy banks at the edge of low pastures. 
It has been asserted by some persons that the Wood-sorrel 
is the Irish Shamrock, the emblem of the Holy Trinity; 
but it is more likely, if St. Patrick really used any plant 
as a simile, that he took the familiar golden-blossomed 
trefoil Yellow Clover, which is tlje Shamrock which grows 
so abundantly in Ireland by waysides.* The Wood-sorrel is 
of rarer occurrence and of less familiar appearance. 

* St. Patrick is said to have plucked the tiny leaves to explain how one could be three. 

82 



NATIVE WILD FLOWEKS 

. 
CISTUS KOCK-ROSE Helianthemum Canadense (Michx.). 

We find the yellow Cistus growing on gravelly hills 
and sunny banks. It is a pretty delicate-flowered plant of 
slender upright growth and hoary foliage, beset with silvery- 
gray hairs. The flowers, rarely more than two opening at 
a time, are about an inch wide; the petals slightly notched 
at the upper edge, of a pale brimstone color; the many 
stamens and anthers reddish-orange. The flowers open at 
sunrise but fall before night; they are so slight in texture 
that the least touch affects them. There is a peculiarity 
in this plant that is very singular, the tendency to produce 
an abundance of abortive flowers along the lower portion 
of the stem. These never open, and give a scaly look to 
the plant. The Cistus is also known by the name of 
" Frost Plant " ; this name may have been given to it from 
the hoary appearance of the leaves, though a less obvious 
cause has been assigned for the name. It is said that ice- 
crystals are formed on the bark in the autumnal frosts; 
but most likely some crystallized substance from the juices 
of the plant has been mistaken for ice. 

YELLOW FLAX WILD FLAX Linum sulcatum (Eiddell). 

.. 
This is a delicate little plant, mostly found on dry 

sunny banks during the hot summer months. The blossoms 
resemble the common blue Flax, but are smaller; the 
narrow leaves are harder in texture and the plant not more 
than one foot in height; the flower falls very soon.* I do 
not know if the stem possesses the thready flax fibre of the 
cultivated species; its only recommendation is the pretty 
pale yellow blossom. 

* This is so marked that after picking many and finding the flower fallen before I got 
home, I had to take my materials and sit on the side of the bank and sketch it as it 
grew. A. D. C. 

83 

' 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 
CANADIAN BALSAM Impatiens fulva (Nutt.). 

Our Wild Balsam is a singularly gay plant with its 
profusion of orange-colored spotted flowers, light foliage 
and semi-transparent stems. The butterflies seem to take 
delight in hovering over the bright blossoms, and the hum- 
ming-birds may be seen on sunny days with outstretched 
beaks and wings winnowing the air as they balance their 
tiny bodies while extracting sweets or insects from the 
curiously-hooded flowers. In the New England States it is 
known as the Humming-bird Flower, but it has other 
pretty descriptive names, Jewel Weed, Speckled Jewel, and 
Touch-me-not. This last alludes to the sensitive nature of 
the slender seed-pods, which burst at a slight touch, rolling 
themselves into pretty rings and shedding abroad the seed. 

The flowers hang lightly, drooping on very slender 
thready stalks; when open the outer sepal of the colored 
calyx forms a hooded cap which reminds one of an old 
jester's cap and bells. It is only in the single-flowered 
Balsam under cultivation that we see the curious hood 
with its horn-like nectary; but the elastic seed-pod is, like 
the wild species, equally sensitive if touched. A strong 
coloring matter of bright orange pervades the whole plant 
in our Wild Balsam leaves, stem and flower. The Indian 
women use the juice in dyeing, and also apply it in 
Erysipelas caused by Poison Ivy and in other diseased 
states of the skin. Our Balsam loves low wet soil. The 
low lake shore and forest streams are its favorite haunts, 
where it attains the height of three and four feet. 

There are two species: Impatiens fulva, distinguished by 
Its deeper-colored blossoms, orange, almost scarlet, and its 
brown spots and darker green leaves; and /. pallida 
(Nutt.), paler, the markings on the petals slighter, the 

84 









PLATE XI. 

1. Four-leaved Loose- Strife (Lysimachia quadrifolia). 

2. Marsh Vetchling (Lathyrus palustris). P. 94. 






S T BA 



potted 

vn on sunny 

ing sweets 

flowers. In the New E 
Humming-bird Flower, 
pretty descriptive names, Jew>l Wt 
Touch-me-not. This last alludes 
the slender seed-pods,. which l .IX 3TAJ*! 
themselves mt(. 
The 



XantzuUq 



8 naHoJsV faisM .S 



. 
coloring 


women u^e th<- 

Er v 

lion* and f 
-i.s the 1, 



> darki- 



- 
11. The 

and /. pat 







PLATE XI. 



4 



it. 




1 2 



NATIVE WILD FLOWEKS 

foliage much lighter, and the juice of the plant more 
watery. 

Professor Lindley has given the Balsam a place among 
the garden Nasturtiums. A very natural affinity seems to 
exist between the Nasturtiums and Balsams as respects 
habits, form and color. Dr. Gray gives the Balsams an 
order to themselves. 

RATTLESNAKE PLANTAIN Goodyera pubescens (E. Br.), 

This is a formidable name for a lovely little plant the 
leaves of which are prettily netted over the dark green sur- 
face with milky-white veinings. The ovate pointed leaves 
are set close to the ground; from the centre of the leaves 
rises a naked stalk of pearly white flowers in a slender 
spike; corolla ringent with inflated lip; root-stock some- 
what creeping, soft and fibrous; the flowers are slightly 
fragrant. This pretty little plant is found in the forest, 
often on decayed fallen trunks of trees or in light fibrous, 
mould. It is very nearly allied to the 

SLENDER LADY'S-TRESSES Spiranthes gracilis (Big.). 

The flower-stem of this singular plant is twisted so that 
the blossoms are turned to one side, forming a spiral of" 
great beauty. The flowers are smaller but sweeter than those 
of the Rattlesnake Plantain; greenish -white, lipped and 
fringed. The two leaves are closely pressed to the ground 
and are little seen after the plant is in bloom. There are 
several species of these graceful Orchids. 

The spiral arrangement of the flowers probably suggested 
the ringlets on some fair lady's head. The old florists 
and herbalists of former times were more gallant than our 
modern botanists, for they gave many pretty names to the- 

85 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

flowers instead of the harsh-sounding, unmeaning ones that 
we find in our scientific manuals of Botany. So we have 
among our local and familiar names such prettily sound- 
ing ones as " Lady 's-tr esses," " Sweet Cicely," " Sweet 
Marjoram," or " Marjory," " Mary-gold," " Lady's-slipper," 
with a number of others that I could name besides descrip- 
tive names which form a sort of biography of the plant, 
giving us a correct idea of its characteristics and peculiar 
uses or habits. 

SWEET SCENTED WATER-LILY Nymphcea odorata (Ait). 

(PLATE XV.) 

" Rocked gently there, the beautiful Nymphaea 
Pillows her bright head." 

Calendar of Flowers. 

Water-lily is the popular name by which this beautiful 
aquatic plant is known, nor can we find it in our hearts to 
reject the name of Lily for this ornament of our lakes. 
The White Nymphsea might indeed be termed " Queen of the 
Lakes," for truly she sits in regal pride upon her watery 
throne, a very queen among flowers. Very lovely are the 
Water-lilies of England, but their fair sisters of the New 
World excel them in size and fragrance. 

Many of the tribe to which these plants belong are natives 
of the Torrid Zone, but our White Water-lilies (Nymphcea 
odorata and tuberosa] and the Yellow Pond-lilies (Nuphar 
udvendj lutea and Kalmiana) only are able to support the 
cold winters of Canada. The depth of the water in which 
they grow enables them to withstand the cold, the frost 
rarely penetrating to their roots, which in the Nymphseas 
are rough and knotted, white and fleshy, and often as thick 
as a man's wrist. The root-stock is horizontal, sending 
many fibrous slender rootlets into the soft mud; the stems 

86 



NATIVE WILD FLOWEKS 

that support the leaves and blossoms are round, of an olive- 
green, containing open pores filled with air, which cause 
them to be buoyed up in the water. These air-cells may be 
examined by cutting the stems across, when the beautiful 
arrangement of the pores can be seen and admired for their 
use in buoying up the stem and allowing the flower-cup to 
float upon the surface of the water. These air-cells are 
arranged with beautiful symmetry, giving strength as well 
as lightness. 

The leaves of the Water-lily are of a full-green color, 
deeply tinged with red towards the fall of the year, so 
much so as to give a blood-red tinge to the water; they are 
of a large size, round kidney-shaped, of leathery texture 
and highly-polished surface, resisting the action of the 
water as if coated with oil or varnish. Over these beds of 
Water-Lilies hundreds of dragon-flies of every color blue, 
green, scarlet and bronze may be seen like living gems 
flirting their pearly-tinted wings in all the enjoyment of 
their newly found existence possibly enjoying the delicious 
aroma from the odorous lemon-scented flowers over which 
they sport so gaily. 

The flowers of the Water-lily grow singly at the summit 
of the round smooth fleshy scapes. Who that has ever 
floated upon one of our calm inland lakes on a warm July 
or August day but has been tempted,* at the risk of upsetting 
the frail birch-bark canoe or shallow skiff, to put forth a 
hand to snatch one of those matchless ivory cups that rest 
in spotless purity upon the tranquil water, just rising and 
falling with the movement of the stream; or has gazed with 
wishful and admiring eyes into the still, clear water at the 

* It is decidedly risky, as the stem is not only tough but slippery. After several 
struggles you may succeed (unless you have a knife to cut the stem) in either breaking off 
the flower or dragging into the boat several yards of slimy, thick, slippery stems. 
A. D. C. 

8? 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

exquisite buds and half unfolded blossoms that are spring- 
ing upwards to the air and sunlight. 

The hollow boat-shaped sepals of the calyx are four in 
number, of a bright olive green, smooth and oily in texture. 
The flowers do not expand fully until they reach the sur- 
face. The petals are numerous, hollow (or concave), blunt, 
of a pure ivory white, very fragrant, having the rich odor 
of freshly-cut lemons; they are set round the surface of 
the ovary in regular rows, one above the other, gradually 
lessening in size till they change, by imperceptible grada- 
tion, into the narrow fleshy petal-like yellow anthers. The 
pistil is without style, the stigma forming a flat-rayed top 
to the ovary, as in the Poppy and many other plants. 

But if the White Water-lily is beautiful, how much more 
so is the lovely pink-flowered variety, N. odorata, var. rosea, 
found abundantly in many of the small lakes in the northern 
counties of Ontario, particularly in the Muskoka district, of 
such an exquisite shade of color that it could be compared 
only with the 

" Hues of the rich unfolding morn, 
That ere the glorious sun be born, 
By some soft touch invisible 
Around his path are taught to swell." 

Keble. 

On the approach of night our lovely water-nymph 
gradually closes her petals and slowly retires to rest in 
her watery bed, to rise again the following day to court the 
warmth and light so necessary for the perfection of the 
embryo seeds; and this continues till the fertilization of 
the germ has been completed, when the petals shrink and 
wither and the seed-vessel sinks down to the bottom of the 
water, where the seeds ripen in its secret chambers. Thus 
silently and mysteriously does Nature perform her wonder- 



NATIVE WILD FLOWEKS 

ful work, " sought out only by those who have pleasure 
therein."* 

The roots of the Water-lily contain a large quantity of 
fecula (flour), which, after repeated washings, may be 
used for food; they are also made use of in medicine, being 
cooling and softening; the fresh leaves are used as good 
dressings for blisters. 

The Lotus of Egypt belongs to this family, and not only 
furnished magnificent ornaments with which to crown the 
heads of the gods and kings, but the seeds also served as 
food to the people in times of scarcity. The Sacred Lotus, 
or Lily of the Nile (Nymphwa Lotus), found veneration with 
the ancient Egyptians. 

" Lotus-eaters," says Dr. Lee, " not only abound in Egypt,, 
but all over the East." " The large fleshy roots of the 
Nelumbium luteum, or great Yellow Water-lily, found 
in our North American lakes, resemble the Sweet Potato 
(Batatas edulis), and by some of the natives are esteemed 
equally agreeable and wholesome," observes the same 
author, " being used as food by the Indians, as are the roots 
of another species, Nelumbium speciosum, by some of the- 
Tartar tribes." 

The people of China, in some parts of that over-populated 
country, grow Water-lilies upon their lakes for the sake 
of the nourishment yielded by the roots and seeds. 

As yet little value has been attached to our charming 
White Water-lily, because its uses have been unknown. It 

* In that singular plant, the Eel or Tapegrass Vallisneria spiralis (L) a plant indi- 
genous to our slow-flowing waters, the elastic stem which bears the pistillate flowers 
uncoils to reach the surface of the water ; about the same time the pollen-bearing flowers, 
which are produced at the bottom of the water on very short scapes, break away from 
the confining bonds that hold them, and rise to the surface, where they expand and 
scatter their fertilizing dust upon the fruit-bearing flowers which float around them ;. 
after awhile the stems coil up again and draw the pod-like ovary down to the bottom, 
there to ripen and perfect the fruit. 

89 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

is one of the privileges of the botanist and naturalist to lay 
open the vegetable treasures that are so lavishly bestowed 
upon us by the bountiful hand of the great Creator. 

YELLOW POND-LILY SPATTER DOCK Nuphar advena (Ait.). 

(PLATE XV.) 

" And there the bright Nymphsea loves to lave, 
And spreads her golden orbs along the dimpling wave." 

The Yellow Pond-lily is often found growing in extensive 
beds, mingled with the White, and though it is less graceful 
in form, there is yet much to admire in its rich orange- 
colored flowers, which appear, at a little distance, like balls 
of gold floating on the still waters. The large hollow petal- 
like sepals that surround the flower are sometimes finely 
clouded with dark red on the outer side, but of a deep 
orange yellow within, as also are the strap-like petals and 
stamens; the stigma, or summit of the pistil, is flat and 
12-24 rayed. The leaves are dark-green, scarcely so large 
as those of the White Water-lily, more elongated, and are 
borne on long thick fleshy stalks, flattened on the inner 
side and rounded without. The botanical name Nuphar is 
derived, says Gray, from the Arabic word neufar, signify- 
ing pond-lily. 

Nature's arrangements are always graceful and harmon- 
ious, and this is illustrated by the grouping of these beauti- 
ful water-plants together, the ivory white of the large Lily 
mingling with the brighter, more gorgeous color of the 
yellow; and the deeper green of the broad shield-like leaf 
contrasting with the bright verdure of that of the Arrow- 
head and the bright rosy tufts of the red Water Persicaria 
the leaves, veinings and stems giving warm tints of color to 
the water as they rise and sink with the passing breeze. 

90 



NATIVE WILD FLOWEKS 

Where there is a deep deposit of mud in the shallows of 
still waters we frequently find many different species of 
aquatics growing promiscuously, the tall lance-like leaf and 
blue, spiked heads of the stately Pontedcria cordata keeping 
guard, as it were, over the graceful Nympha3a, like a gallant 
knight with lance in rest ready to defend his queen; and 
around these the fair and delicate white flowers of the 
small Arrow-head* resting their frail petals upon the water, 
looking as if the slightest breeze that ruffled its surface 
would send them from their watery pillow. 

Beyond this aquatic garden lie beds of Wild Rice (Zizania 
aquatica), with floating leaves of emerald green and 
waving grassy flowers of straw-color and purple; while 
nearer to the shore the bright rosy tufts of the Water 
Persicaria (Polygonum amphibium), with dark-green leaves 
and crimson stalks, delight the eyes of the passer-by. 

SPIKENARD Aralia racemosa (L.). 

This valuable plant is distinguished by its heart-shaped 
five-foliate pointed and serrated leaves, wide-branching 
herbaceous stem, long white aromatic astringent root, 
greenish-white flowers and racemose branching umbels of 
small round purple berries, about the size and color of the 
purple-berried elder. It affects a rich deep soil, the long 
tough roots sometimes extending to a yard or more in 
length, forking and branching repeatedly. The plants are 
often seen growing on large boulders where there is a suffi- 
ciency of soil, the roots penetrating into the crevices or 
extending horizontally over the surface. Another favorite 
place for this plant is in the earth adhering to large up- 
turned roots, the seed having been left by the birds. The 
root has an aromatic taste and smells like aniseed or 

See Plate X. 

91 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

caraway. It is a most valuable domestic medicine, safe and 
simple; its curative properties in cases of obstinate dysen- 
terical disorders deserve to be widely known. 

It was from an old Canadian settler that I learned the 
virtue of the Spignet-root, for it is by that name it is known 
in country places. I have tested its efficacy in many cases 
of that common and often fatal disorder to which young 
children are subject during the hot summer months in 
Canada. For the benefit of anxious mothers I give the 
following preparation from this valuable root: 

Kecipe. Take the long roots, which are covered with a 
wrinkled brown skin, wash them well and remove the outer 
bark ; then scrape down the white fibrous part, which is the 
portion of the root that is to be made use of, throwing aside 
the inner hard central heart, which is not so good. 

A large tablespoonful of the scraped root may be boiled 
in a pint of good milk till the quantity is reduced to one- 
half; a small stick of cinnamon and a lump of white sugar 
boiled down with the milk improve the flavor, add to its 
astringent virtue, and make the medicine quite palatable. 
The dose for an infant is a teaspoonful, twice a day; for 
an adult, a dessert-spoonful twice or thrice a day, till the 
disorder is checked. 

The months of August and September are the best time 
to obtain the roots, which have then come to perfection. 

The strengthening and purifying nature of this plant 
makes it quite safe as a medicine even for a young infant. 
The preparation is by no means unpalatable; it is sweet 
and slightly bitter, aromatic and astringent. I have seen 
children that had been reduced to the last stage of debility 
restored, after taking three or four doses, to a healthy state 
of body; it purifies the blood and strengthens the system. 

92 



NATIVE WILD FLOWEKS 

This plant, and Aralia nudicaulis (L.), or Wild Sarsa- 
parilla, are held in great repute as wholesome tonics by the 
old settlers. 

The Ginseng (A. quinquefolia Gray), or Five-leaved 
Sarsaparilla, is known by its scarlet berries. 

DWARF GINSENG Aralia trifolia (Gray). 

This is a pretty, delicate little plant with three palmately 
three to five-foliate light-green leaves, which form a leafy 
involucre to the small delicate umbel of whitish-green 
flowers which surmounts them. The root is a round tuber, 
deep below the soil; it is pungent to the taste. 

MONKEY FLOWER Mimulus ringens (L.). 

Our Mimulus. is a sober-suited nun, not gorgeously 
arrayed in crimson and golden sheen, scarlet or orange, 
but in a modest, unobtrusive dark violet color, that she may 
not prove too conspicuous among the herbage and grasses. 
Her favorite haunt is in damp soil by low-lying streams 
and open swampy meadows, among moisture-loving herbs, 
coarse grasses and sedges, and dwarf sheltering bushes. 
Yet our Mimulus is by no means devoid of beauty, the 
dark violet-purple of the corollas being unusual among wild; 
flowers. The blossoms grow from between the axils of the 
leaves, singly, on rather long footstalks; the upper lip of 
the tubular corolla is arched, the lower spreading and 
thrice lobed; the leaves are long, of a dullish green, often, 
with the angled upright scape, taking a bronzed purple tint. 

MAD-DOG SKULLCAP Bcutellaria lateriflora (L.). 

This pretty light-blue flower grows on the low-lying 
shores of the Katchewanook Lake and other localities on 
the banks of the Otonabee and its tributaries. The stem is 

93 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

slender, branching, the leaves rather coarse; color of the 
blossoms azure blue, with the small upper lip somewhat 
curved. 

The old settlers imputed great virtues to this very humble 
herb, which it is more than doubtful if it possesses. Good 
faith, however, will often work marvellous cures. The idea 
was that the plant would avert the terrible effects of the 
bite of a mad dog. 

There is also a much handsomer species with larger 
flowers and simpler stem the Common Skull-cap (8. 
galericulata) . 

MARSH VETCHLING MARSH -PEA Lathy rus palustris (L.). 

(PLATE XI.) 

The Marsh Vetchling or Marsh Pea is a graceful climbing 
plant with purple flowers and long slender leaflets, arranged 
in pairs from two to four or six along the leafstalk, which 
terminates in a cluster of clasping thread-like tendrils. 
The flowers are placed on long slender arching peduncles 
springing from the base of the leafstalk, which is furnished 
at the joint with a pair of sharply-pointed stipules. 

The Marsh Pea is found chiefly in damp ground, among 
herbs and dwarf bushes, along the margins of low-lying 
lakes and creeks and sandy grassy flats. Its pretty purple 
pea-shaped blossoms and pale-green leaves attract the eye 
as it twines among the herbage and forms graceful garlands 
amidst the ranker and coarser plants to which it clings. A 
taller species with slender stalks two to four feet high, 
with ovate-elliptical leaves, much larger stipules, and an 
abundance of small pale blue-purple flowers, is also found 
on marshy shores. This is the variety myrtifolius of Gray. 

There are many other graceful twining plants of this 
order. The most remarkable of these is the 

94 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

GROUND NUT WILD BEAN Apios tuberosa (Moench.), 

known also as Indian Potato and Sweet Bean, a tall climber, 
with compound leaves of five to seven ovate leaflets and 
sweet-scented clustered flowers of a brownish-purple color; 
the pear-shaped tubers, of the size of a hen's egg, are used 
as an article of food by the Indians, who roast them in the 
embers and eat them as we do baked potatoes. A fine 
white starchy substance, tasteless and not unwholesome, can 
be obtained by grating the tubers. 

BUTTERFLY WEED Asclepias tuberosa (L.). 

Of this remarkable family Canada possesses many hand- 
some species. The most showy is a large bushy plant with 
gorgeous orange, almost scarlet, flowers. Every branch is 
terminated by a wide-spreading head composed of small 
umbels of brilliant flowers. This plant is known by the 
name of Butterfly Flower from its singularly gay appear- 
ance, which is very attractive when seen on dry hills on 
sunny days. The root is used in medicine as a powerful 
vermifuge by the old settlers, who say they learned its 
medicinal virtues from the Indian herb doctors. 

The floral construction of the flowers of all this family is 
peculiar. The petals are somewhat pointed, five in number; 
divisions of the calyx also five; the petals are reflexed, 
showing a central crown, which is composed of five hooded 
nectaries, each of which encloses a curved horn -like append- 
age. The crown is often of a different shade of color from 
the petals, and from its peculiar form the flower has the 
appearance of being double. The leaves of the Butterfly 
Flower are rough on the surface and hoary; the seed-pods 
are also hoary. It is a striking and showy flower, deficient 
in the viscid milky juice that is so abundant in others of the 
genus. 

95 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

The Pink-flowered Milkweed (A. Cornuti) is fragrant and 
also handsome; it is a tall showy plant, abounding in milky 
juice ; the leaves are large, soft, and velvety ; the flowers are 
of pale pink, falling in graceful tassels from between the 
leaves; the form of the flowers is the same as in the above; 
the seed-pods are large and the seeds flat, lying one over the 
other, closely pressed, in beautiful succession, like the shining 
silvery scales of a fish ; each seed is furnished with a tuft of 
silken hair.* 

The pod opens by a long slit, and it is wonderful to see 
the beautiful winged seeds, the instant the prison door is 
opened, rise as if moved by some sudden impulse, spreading 
their shining silken wings and taking flight, wafted away by 
the slightest breeze to parts unknown. One marvels how this 
winged multitude ever found space to lie within the nar- 
row case from which they escaped; it reminds one of that 
wonderful genius of the old Arabian tale that the poor 
scared fisherman induced to re-enter the metal pot. 
Methinks it would be even harder to gather together our 
fugitive silky seeds than to coax a refractory genius into a 
quart pot again! 

The whole of the Asclepias family are remarkable for the 
strong tough silken fibre that lines the bark of the stout 
stem. This in the common Silk-weed (A. Cornuti) has 
attracted much attention, but has not as yet been utilized 
for textile fabrics. The fibre is strong and can be divided 
into the finest threads of silken softness and of good length, 
as the plant reaches from two to three feet or more in 
height and grows so freely that I have seen extensive planta- 
tions of it on wild spots, where it has been self-sown and 
where few other plants would grow. 

* The farmers' wives make pretty cushions of this white flax -like silk, by filling bags 
of tulle or net with them, the shining silk showing through any transparent fabric. 

96 



PLATE XI 




PLATE XII. 

1 . False Foxglove (Gerardia quercifolia). 

2. Turtlehead (Chelone gjabra.). P. 13 

3. Dragonhead (Physostigia Virginiana). 










in gra< eful : 
!ve flowers is 

r'd, in beautiful sur 
a iisli ; each seed is furn- 
Jr.* 

pens by a long slit, and it is woiuk 
the beautiful winged seeds, the instant the prison 
opened, rise as if moved by some sudden impulse, spread 
their shining silken wings and taking vafted aw;n 

the slightest breeze to parts im< 'Is how thi* 

winged multitude ever found HX 3TAJ^ : ' !n tlie nar " 
row case fr > -f that 

wonderfu * U * UMoisup ^ib^isO) ..*&& *&& .1 

.KI .1 .Uidab anobdO) U 9 fblnuT .S 



i.o a 

lor the 

stroll tie stout 

has 

attracted zed 

for textile fabr *tn be divided 

into the fin( -*>od length, 

:L reae 1 

' 



PLATE XI 




NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

The silken beard of the seed, though so bright and beauti- 
ful, is too short and brittle for spinning; still, as a felting 
material, or for paper manufacture, it might prove of value, 
for even the pod might be employed. A good fibre is found 
in all the tall Milkweeds, and also in the Apocynums or 
Dogbanes, where the thread is still finer. All these plants 
are remarkable for the bitter viscid milky juices with which 
they abound. 

We know nothing in medicine experimentally of this 
tribe of native plants, but I believe they are supposed to 
contain poisonous properties of a narcotic nature, as is the 
case with most vegetables containing acrid milky juices.* 

It would add greatly to the value of botanical books if a 
few words as to the poisonous character of native plants 
were inserted. 

WILLOW-HERB Epilobium angustifolium ( L. ) . 

This handsome, showy plant, w r ith its tall wand-like 
stem and abundant blossoms of reddish lilac, adorns old 
neglected fallow-lands that have been run over by bush 
fires, and open swampy spots, where it covers the unsightly 
ground with its bright colors and drooping stems, which are 
often borne down by the weight of their blossoms and fair 
buds. It often shares these waste places with the White 
Everlasting (Antennaria margaritacea) , Wild Ked Rasp- 
berry, Blackberry, and the Fireweed, with a variety of 
smaller plants that take possession of the virgin soil, there 
to perfect their flowers and fruit, while at the same time 
their abundant foliage serves to cover the confusion caused 
by charred and blackened trunks and branches of prostrate 

* It is supposed to cure the bite of a rattlesnake, and it is strange that it always 
grows in abundance where there are rattlesnakes. An old saying that an antidote is 
always near a poison may be true. The milk is also a cure for warts. A.D.C. 

97 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

trees. Over all these the graceful Willow-herb waves its 
flowery spikes and long willowy leaves. All through the 
months of July, August and September it blooms on, while 
later in the season its silky-plumed seeds fill the air as they 
wing their way to other wild spots equally favorable for 
their growth and development. 

The midribs of the leaves are white or rosy red, as also 
are the wand-like stems and branches. The terminal naked 
buds are of a deep crimson; the seed-pod is long and opens 
lengthwise to allow the seeds to float off on the breeze by 
means of their silky sails. 

The Willow-herb is cultivated in gardens in England, 
where it is known by the name of French Willow. I 
remember seeing it in almost a wild state in a picturesque 
old garden in Suffolk, where it grew to the height of seven 
or eight feet, the long flowery wand-like stems drooping 
over the margin of a fish-pond, where, beneath the shadow 
of a big old willow, I used to sit and feed the silver-scaled 
carp, which were so fearless that they came and fed upon 
the crumbs that I threw into the water. 

EVENING PRIMROSE (Enothera biennis (L.), var. grandi- 

flora (Lindl.). 

" A tuft of Evening Primroses 
O'er which the mind might hover till it dozes, 
But that it's ever startled by the leap 
Of buds into ripe flowers." 

Keats. 

In common with the Northern and Eastern States, 
Canada owns many native flowers of this fine family. Our 
largest variety of (E. biennis is deliciously fragrant, with 
large showy flowers of a deep sulphur color of all the 
shades of yellow the most beautiful and satisfying to the 

98 



NATIVE WILD FLOWEES 

eye, so full, so soft and delicate is the hue. Some species 
of the Evening Primrose, true to their descriptive name, 
open their blossoms only at sunset; others bloom during 
the daytime and endure the light and heat of a July or 
August sun. One form of the grandiflora is from, 
three to four feet high, with stout branching stems and 
many-flowered spikes; others are low in stature, with rough 
hoary leaves and smaller flowers. (E. pumila, a dwarf 
species, about six inches in height, has small flowers of 
pale color and of little floral beauty. (E. biennis (L.), var. 
muricata (Gray), which is common in open fields and 
plains, is a large branching species with smooth, red- 
veined leaves, a red bristly stem, and smaller flowers than 
grandiflora. It is less fragrant but is a handsome species and 
continues flowering all through the summer till cut off by 
early frosts. But by far the finest and most interesting of 
our Evening Primroses is the large-flowered fragrant 
grandiflora under consideration. No sooner has the sun set 
than one after another may be seen, in quick succession, 
the bursting of the closely-shut sepals of the calyx. One 
by one the petals begin to unfold slowly, slowly. You 
notice a slight movement in the corolla; first one petal is 
loosened from its plaited folds, then another, till in a few 
seconds the whole flower expands and opens its beautiful 
deep sulphur-colored cup with its eight stamens and yellow 
anthers, giving out a delightful scent upon the dewy air. 
What an object of interest is this flower to children as they 
gaze with watching, wondering eyes upon its fair unfolding 
blossoms. One little fellow, almost a baby, cried out, " Oh, 
look! it's waking now!" when he saw the first pure petal 
softly rolled back as the blossom commenced opening. The 
diagonal lines which cross the surface of the flower are 
caused by its twisted aestivation, or folding in the bud, and 

99 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

this gives it a crimped appearance which is singularly 
pretty as well as curious. It has been stated that a flash 
of phosphorescent light has been noticed at the instant the 
flower opens, but I think a tiny flash of such pale light 
would hardly be perceptible during the daylight; besides, 
the petals unclose gradually the only sudden motion is the 
unclasping of the enfolding calyx leaves which emprison 
the corolla. Nevertheless it is a pretty idea, and it may be 
a fact, though not as yet a fully established one. I think 
it is Professor Lindley who has recorded the circumstance 
in his " Natural System of Botany," from the observation 
of some French naturalist. 

ENCHANTER'S NIGHTSHADE Circcea alpina (L.). 

With so ominous a name we might naturally expect to 
find some sad lurid-looking poisonous weed or sombre- 
leaved climber, instead of a very delicate, innocent-looking 
leafy plant, with thin light-green foliage and tiny white 
or pale pink blossoms dotted with minute spots of pale 
yellow, something like the old garden plant London Pride. 
One can hardly imagine so inoffensive a little flower being 
introduced by the ancient sibyls into connection with their 
unholy rites, nor understand why its classical name, 
Circcea, after a horrible old enchantress, should have been 
retained by our modern botanists. 

We often wonder at the Greek names given to plants 
which are indigenous to other climes than Greece, and 
retained even where the significance is so obscure as to 
be questioned by our botanical writers. It is these hard 
classical names that frighten youthful students, especially 
young ladies, who are only too glad when they can meet 
with names of flowers that give them an insight into the 

IOO 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

appearance and qualities of the plants by which they can 
be easily recognized. 

Imagination loves to get a glimpse at the poetical in 
the names of flowers, giving a charm to what is dry and. 
uninteresting in our botanical books; something that gives 
us an insight into the history of the flower we study 
beyond the mere structure and definition of its parts. I 
remember an old gardener (he was by no means an ignorant 
man) once said, " Oh! madam, in these days they turn poor 
Poetry out of doors, but in the olden time it was not so, for 
it was the language in which God spake to man through 
the tongues of angels and prophets. Ay, and it was the 
language in which even sinful man spake in prayer to his 
Maker; but now they only use hard words for simple 
things, such as the flowers of the field and the garden; or 
the talk is about gold and the things that gold purchases!" 

SPREADING DOGBANE INDIAN HEMP Apocynum andro- 
scemifolium (L.). 

This pretty pink-flowered plant is also known by the 
name of Shrubby Milkweed, from the abundance of acrid 
milky juice that pervades the stem, branches and leaves. 

The flowers of this plant are very unlike those of the 
Asclepiadacece; but it belongs to a closely allied order, and 
possesses some of the characteristics of that remarkable 
order of plants in which the deadly Strychnia is included, 
with others of evil reputation. There are many virtues as 
well as vices in our Milkweeds. The Apocynums have some 
worthy members in the family sweets as well as bitters. 

In the " Hya-hya " of Demerara we find the luscious 
Milktree, which, ^ith the Cream-fruit of Sierra Leone and 
some others, redeems the character of this remarkable tribe 



101 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

of vegetables. Our own native Shrubby Milkweed has 
some marked peculiarities which deserve notice : in common 
with all the Milkweeds it has a strong fine silky fibre in 
the bark, which can be drawn to a great degree of fineness 
and in one of the species, Apocynum cannabinum (Indian 
Hemp), is exceedingly tough and strong; it is said to 
have been used by the natives in lieu of thread. No doubt 
it can be put to such purpose. While many writers have 
dwelt upon the silk contained in the pods of the Milkweeds, 
suggesting the possible uses to which it might be applied, 
the more valuable strong flaxen fibre, which is superior in 
quality- to hemp, seems in a large measure to have escaped 
public attention. The free growth of the common white- 
flowered Milkweed, which could be easily cultivated, grow- 
ing readily and attaining the height of three or four feet, 
would give a long thread easily divided into the finest 
strands, and might form, as I have already remarked, a 
valuable addition in the manufacture of native Canadian 
fabrics. 

The ancient name, Apocynum, is derived from two Greek 
words signifying " from a dog " ; this shrub was supposed 
to be injurious or baneful to dogs, whence its common name, 
Dogbane. Whether the plant deserves this reproach as 
regards dogs I cannot say; but truth obliges me to confess 
that in its pretty treacherous bells many a poor incautious 
fly meets with a certain, though possibly lingering, death. 
Lured by the fragrance of its blossoms, which it gives out 
at dew-fall, hundreds of small black flies seek rest and shelter 
in the flowers, and are seized instantly by the irritable 
stamens and held in durance by their legs; and as there 
is no philanthropist to take his nightly rounds and release 
them, they perish in their flowery prison. 

102 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

Though the Dogbane is perennial, the stems die down 
annually and are renewed again each spring. The bark is 
of a deep red; the foliage, on distinct footstalks, ovate and 
pointed. The flowers appear in loose spreading cymes; the 
pale rose, somewhat striped corolla open bell-shaped, with 
recurved lobes. The flowers are followed by long slender 
red pods, meeting in pairs at the points in twos and 
fours, the pods converging together; these pods open longi- 
tudinally and let out the small winged seeds, each of which 
is furnished with a tuft of delicate silk. The whole plant is 
milky, more so than the next less showy-flowered species, 

INDIAN HEMP Apocynum cannabinum (L.). 

The flowers of this species are white, small, and in ter- 
minal cymes ; the leaves are narrow, of a dark green, smooth ; 
the fibre in the bark of this plant is very strong as well as 
fine. The Indians use this thread in the manufacture of 
fishing nets and lines, and probably in sewing. The banks 
of streams and lakes seem to be the habitat of the Indian 
Hemp. I am not aware that it has any scent. The scent of 
the pink Dogbane is only given out after sunset. 

WHITE DWARF CONVOLVULUS DAY-FLOWER Convolvulus 

spithamoeus (Pursh). 

Although so delicate and fragile in texture, there is no 
flower that loves the sunlight in its noontide power more 
than this lovely wild Convolvulus. In this it differs from 
the splendid Morning Glory, which opens early, in the 
freshness and coolness of the morning but fades before the 
noonday heat and light; only on cool cloudy days will it 
display its glorious tints of royal purple, rose, crimson, and 
exquisite shades of pink, pearly-blue, and white. But our 
modest white flower may be seen blooming in open fallows 

103 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

and wild grassy plain-lands, where it has little shade unless 
from the surrounding herbage. The plant is seldom more 
than twelve or eighteen inches in height, tapering from a 
broad base to a slender leafy point. The foliage is whitish 
or hoary gray, from a minute downy covering. These gray 
leaves are hastate, not arrow-shaped, pointed and lobed at 
the base; the lower leaves are on long footstalks, the upper 
ones diminished to mere bracts. The flowers are large 
pure white open bells, on long stalks only two opening 
each day. The stem of the plant is somewhat woody, 
slightly branching or simple, and forming a pyramid of 
slender apex, twining slightly and clasping the stalks of 
grasses and neighboring herbs. 

On the flowery Kice Lake plains I have seen this lovely 
flower mingling ks hoary foliage and white fragile bells 
with the gay bracts of the Scarlet Cup and azure-blue spikes 
of the Wild Lupine, the Sweet Pyrola and Wild Kose., and 
surely no garden ever shewed more glorious colors or more 
harmonious contrasts than this wilderness displayed. 

This pretty wild Convolvulus might be introduced into 
garden culture, where the soil is light, without any fear of 
its becoming a troublesome weed like the common Bind- 
weed, or the double-blossomed variety, which should only be 
kept as plants for a trellis or as bower-climbers. 

GRASS-PINK CALOPOGON Calopogon pulcliellus (R. Br.). 

Our open springy poplar flats, partially shaded by aspen 
shrubs and wild grasses, afford shelter to many a rare 
Orchid. The warm rays of the sun, acting on the moist 
boggy soil, quicken into life and loveliness one of the most 
ornamental of our orchidaceous plants. In the month of 
July we find that very beautiful flower, the Grass-pink, or 
Calopogon. Its flowers are little known, and may indeed 
truly be said to waste their sweetness on the desert air. 

104 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

From a round solid conn, about a quarter of an inch in 
diameter, rises a bright green sword-shaped leaf, which 
clasps at its base a tall scape bearing a loose four to eight- 
flowered raceme of elegant rose or lilac-colored flowers. 
The lower blossoms open first. The form of the flower is 
peculiar: the concave upper petal or lip is bearded with 
yellow and purple hairs arching over the column, which is 
winged and free; the bright reddish-purple sepals and 
petals are pointed and fragrant; the scape rises to the 
height of from eighteen inches to two feet. A bed of these 
elegant flowers when in bloom is a charming sight. 

Another of our Orchids is the lovely and rare Arethusa 
bulbosa (L.), the flower of which is no less remarkable for 
the beauty of its form and rich coloring than the Calopogon. 
The color of the ringent corolla is of a deep rich rose-purple, 
and it is very sw^eetly scented; the scape has occasionally 
one grassy leaf. Not less singular is the charming Calypso 
borealis (Salisb.), or Bird's-foot Orchis, with its grace- 
ful, deliciously-scented pendulous flowers and crested lip, 
bearded with yellow and pink, and its narrow, twisted and 
waved pale pink sepals and petals; the scape is garnished 
with one oval shield-shaped shining leaf of dark glossy 
green. It flowers in the month of May. 

Another elegant bog-plant is the 

SMALL ROUND-LEAVED ORCHIS Platanthera rotundifolia 

(Eich.). 

" Your voiceless lips, O flowers, are living preachers ; 
Each cup a pulpit, and each leaf a book. 

" Floral apostles that in dewy splendor 

Weep without woe and blush without a crime." 

Horace Smith. 

This is one of the lovely native plants of the Orchis 
family, of which we boast many remarkable for beauty as 

105 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

well as for the eccentric forms which arise from the 
peculiar arrangement of their floral organs. 

The one above named is worthy of attention. Our quaint 
old herbalists would have called it the Holy Dove, or some 
such name, from the curious resemblance that the petals 
and sepals take to the body and extended white wings of a 
hovering dove, the lower lobed petal taking the semblance 
of the tail and wings, the upper ones meeting over the 
anther-cells, which might be likened to the two eyes of the 
bird, and the arched hooded appendage above to the head. 

The scape of this pretty Orchis is furnished with one 
handsome round or shield-shaped leaf, of shining bright 
green, and a bracted spike of white flowers, spotted with 
delicate pink, as also is the throat of the arched petal that 
partly covers the anthers and stigmatic disc. 

Our beautiful Orchids, with many other rare bog plants, 
repay the difficulties of obtaining them in their native 
haunts, such as cedar swamps, cranberry marshes, poplar 
swales, and peat bogs, where, however zealous, our lady 
botanists may not venture without risk. 

These rare plants, growing in lonely isolated places, are 
little known and but seldom met with, unless, as I have 
said, by the enthusiastic botanist who is not afraid to seek 
for such floral treasures, however difficult they may be to 
obtain. A curious and handsome species is the Striped 
Orchis or Coral-root (Corallorhiza striata, Lindl.). This 
plant is leafless, silvery-sheathing scales taking the place of 
leaves; the roots are branched and knobby, like some kinds 
of coral; the scapes, many flowered, grow up in clusters 
from twelve to eighteen inches high; the flowers are pale 
fawn, striped and dotted with crimson or purple such was a 
plant that I found at the root of a big hemlock tree near 
the forest road where I often walked many years ago. 

106 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

There are several different species of this curious order, 
varying in size and the color of their blossoms. Of fringed 
and tufted, fragrant kinds, we have the Pearly White and 
the Fringed Pink Orchids. These are very pretty and not 
uncommon flowers. I first saw them on my voyage up the 
St. Lawrence, when the ship was anchored off Bic Island 
and the Captain brought me a noble posy of sweet flowers, 
the first Canadian flowers I ever saw. Among Wild Roses 
and elegant Blue Lungwort (Mertensia maritima), which I 
had also seen and gathered near Kirk wall, in Orkney, there 
were yellow Loosestrife, Harebells, and the sweet-scented 
White-fringed Orchis, the Pink-fringed Orchis and some 
elegant cream-colored Vetches, with several other flowers 
then unknown to me. 

There are many other plants of the Orchis family 
scattered through our woods and swamps and on the rocky 
or low islands of our northern lakes. Among those not 
already mentioned, the Larger Fringed Orchis (Habenaria 
fimbriata) may be named. This is a tall handsome bog- 
plant, flowering in the beginning of July, with large rose- 
purple deeply-cut petals. Another less conspicuous species, 
found in dry woods, is the Northern Green-man Orchis, 
Habenaria viridis (L.), var. bracteata (Reich). The scape 
of this species is furnished with long narrow sharply-pointed 
bracts and greenish flowers. 

In some of our orchidaceous plants when examined there 
will be seen at the base of the fleshy scape two roundish 
bulbs or tubers, farinaceous masses, whence the bundle of 
white fibres, the roots and rootlets proper, proceed, and 
which contain the prepared food to support the growth of 
the year. 

From one of these tubers the scape, bearing the scaly or 
leafy bracts, root-leaves and flowers, springs, and at the 
flowering season is much larger than the other. 

107 



STUDIES OP PLANT LIFE 

The flower-bearing bulb deceases from exhaustion of its 
substance, shrivels, turns brown, and begins to decay, while 
the other continues slowly but steadily to go on increasing, 
bearing in its bosom the embryo flower-stein and foliage 
which are to appear the following year. Another tiny bulb 
is also preparing in like manner, attached by a slender 
fleshy cord to its companion. Thus from year to year the 
process goes on, each one taking the place of its predecessor 
after its office has been fulfilled. 

This singular mode of reproduction seems to supersede 
the necessity for the development of seed as in other flower- 
ing plants; nor is it so common to find seedlings of the 
Orchids springing up round the parent plant, as in the case 
of other flowers. 

The reason why so few amateur florists succeed in trans- 
planting the native Orchids into their gardens lies in the 
want of due care in taking them up. The life of the plant 
for the following season being contained in the new forming 
tuber, if this be in the least injured the chance of another 
flower in the future is at an end. The succulent tender 
roots are easily broken or wounded, and these strike rather 
deep down in the soil and must be taken up uninjured, 
with a good portion of the mould, or there is small chance 
of life for the plant. Nor will the Orchis thrive in common 
earth; it requires fibrous peaty soil, moisture, and some 
shade, with the warmth that arises from the moist soil and 
shelter of the surrounding herbage. They all thrive best in 
the conservatory or greenhouse. 

GOLDEN DODDER Cuscuta Gronovii (Willd.). 

This singular parasitical plant occurs on the rocky shores 
of our inland lakes. There seem to be two species: one 

108 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

with bright orange-colored coils and greenish white flowers; 
the other with green rusty wiry stems and smaller blossoms. 
This last occurs on the rocky shores of Stoney Lake, where 
in the month of August it may be found twining around 
the slender stems of the Lesser Goldenrod, a small narrow- 
leaved Solidago. 

In no instance did I find this curious parasite associated 
with any other plant; as if by some mysterious instinct the 
Goldenrod seemed to be selected for its support. Nor cor, Id 
the union with the flower be discovered by the most careful 
examination. The Dodder seems to be leafless and rootless. 
The Goldenrod to which it had attached itself did not 
appear to have suffered from the clinging embrace of its 
singular companion, though its coils were so tightly wound 
around it that it was not an easy matter to separate them 
from the supporting stem. The Dodder could not even be 
said to have the claims of a poor relation to excuse its 
unwelcome intrusion. The white blossoms of this parasite 
were closely clustered at intervals on the wiry stem. 

The golden-stemmed species, with somewhat larger 
greenish-tinged white flowers, I found in the same locality 
attached to the culms of stout wild grasses, which chiefly it 
seemed to have selected for its support. The bright orange 
coils and clusters of flowers formed a pretty contrast with 
the dark foliage of the climbing Indian Bean (Apios 
tuberosa), many young plants of which handsome fragrant 
climber grew there in profusion, covering the low bushes. 

In the States it is known as Goldthread, from the bright 
orange thready twining stems which it throws like a golden 
net over the neighboring herbage. It seems, indeed, more 
ornamental than useful; but as it does not intrude itself 
into our gardens we will not quarrel with it. There is 

109 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

room and space in this wide world for it and others to find 
some little spot in which to grow. Each has its own 
particular and ordained use. 

" Nothing lives, or grows, or moves in vain ; 
Thy praise is heard amid her pathless ways, 
And e'en her senseless things in Thee rejoice." 

J. Roscoe. 

EVERLASTING FLOWERS. 

" Bring flowers for the brow of the early dead." 

It is on the open prairie-like tracts of rolling land known 
in Ontario by the names of oak-openings and plains, where 
the soil is sandy or light loam, that flowers of the Com- 
posite Order abound. All through the hot months of July 
and August, and late into September, the starry-rayed 
blossoms of the sun-loving Sunflowers, Eudbeckias, Asters 
and Goldenrods enliven the open wastes and grassy thickets 
with their gay colors the more welcome because that the 
more delicate of the early spring and summer flowers have 
long since faded and gone, and we know that we shall see 
them no more. 

Our floral calendar might be likened to four stages of 
life: the tender early flowers of Spring to innocent child- 
life: the gay blossoms of May and June, with all their 
fruitful promises, to advancing youth; the ripening fruit 
of summer's prime, to mature manhood in its strength and 
perfection; while the white flowers and hoary leaves of 
our Pearly Everlastings and drooping Grasses are not inapt 
emblems of old age, bending earthward yet not destroyed, 
for they have winged seeds that rise and float upwards and 
heavenwards, and we shall again behold them in renewed 
youth and beauty. 

110 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

EARLY-FLOWERING EVERLASTING Antennaria dioica 
( Gaertn. ) . 

Our earliest Everlasting is a pretty low creeping plant r 
not exceeding six inches in height, with small round 
clustered heads of downy whiteness, with dark brown 
anthers, which resemble the antennae of some small insect, 
whence the generic name Antennaria is taken. The leaves 
of the plant are white beneath and slightly cottony on the 
outer surface, becoming darker green during the summer. 
The rootstock is spreading, the leaves numerous, roundish- 
spatulate. The w T hole plant has a hoary appearance when* 
it first springs up. 

This modest, innocent-looking little flower peeps forth in 
April and carpets the dry gravelly hills with its downy 
blossoms and soft silken leaves, sharing the newly uncovered 
earth with the Blue Violet (Viola cucullata), and early 
pale yellow Crowfoot, Eock Saxifrage and Barren Wild 
Strawberry (Waldsteinia fragarioides Tratt), which is 
then beginning to put forth its new foliage and yellow 
flowers, that have been kindly sheltered by the persistent 
leaves of the former year, now red and bronzed by the 
frosts of early spring. Our pretty Canadian Everlasting 
bears some family resemblance to the far-famed " Edelweiss " 
of the High Alps (Leontopodium alpinum). As in that 
flower, the clustered heads are set round the centre of the 
disc, like a little infant family surrounding the careful 
mother. 

In the singular Alpine species the whole plant, from 
root-leaves to stem and involucre, is thickly clothed with 
snow-white down, as if to keep it warmly defended from the 
bitter mountain blasts and whirling showers of snow and 

in 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

hail. Thus does Creative Love shield and clothe the flowers 
of the field ; His tender care is over all His works. 

Scarcely has our little Everlasting raised its soft cottony 
head above the short turf when another species appears, as 
if to rival its tiny brother, and known as the 

PLANTAIN-LEAVED EVERLASTING Antennaria plantaginifolia 

(Hook.). 

This plant varies in height from six inches to eight or 
nine. The woolly stem is clothed with narrow leafy bracts; 
the root-leaves are large and broadly ovate, several-nerved, 
very white underneath, and less downy on the outer surface; 
the corymbed head of flowers shines with bright scales and 
silky pappus the scales are not pure white, but with a 
slight tinge of brown. Later on in the month of July a 
tall slender form of this Everlasting may be seen, with 
larger root-leaves and loose heads of flowers on long foot- 
stalks; the flowers are slightly tinged with reddish-purple 
and silvery-gray, which gives a pearly or prismatic effect as 
the eye glances over a number of the plants moved by the 
summer wind. The flowery heads are conical, the unopened 
blossoms sharply pointed the whole plant tall, slender and 
simple, and very downy.* 

The later plants of the Everlasting family differ from the 
above species. One commonly called 

NEGLECTED EVERLASTING Gnaphalium polycephalum (Mx.), 

deserves our especial notice on account of the pleasant 
fragrance which pervades the gummy leaves as well as the 
shining straw-colored flowers; the scent is aromatic and 
slightly resinous. This plant is found in old pastures and 

* Antennaria neodioica, Greene. 

112 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

by wayside waste lands, often mingled with the Pearly 
Everlasting (Antennaria margaritacea) and other common 
species of the order. 

It is so commonly seen and so little cared for as to have 
obtained the name of Neglected Everlasting. Truly even a 
flower may be without honor in its own country ! 

There is another plant of this family, found in old dry 
pastures, with straw-colored shining flowers; but it lacks 
the aromatic fragrance and dark-green narrow revolute 
gummy leaves of the preceding ; it is branching with a wide- 
spread corymbed head and has the leaves decurrent on the 
stem, whence its name G. decurrens. This is an earlier 
species than the Neglected Everlasting. 

PEARLY EVERLASTING Antennaria margaritacea (Hook.). 

The abundance of the common Pearly Everlasting induced 
many of the backwoods settlers' wives to employ the light 
dry flowers as a substitute for feathers in stuffing beds and 
cushions; and very sweet and comfortable these primitive 
pillows and cushions are, as well as pleasantly fragrant, 
for the Pearly Everlasting is also sweet-scented, though not 
so much so as G. polycephalum; the heads are soft, elastic, 
and easily obtained. The French peasants still hang up 
wreaths or crosses of the white-flowered Everlastings in 
churches and upon the graves of the dead, to mark where 
one fair bud or blossom has dropped from the parent tree 
to mingle with its kindred dust. It is a fond old custom 
which time and the world's later fashions have not yet 
changed among the simple habitants. 

Surely we may say with the sweet poet : 

" They are love's last gift. 

Bring flowers pale flowers." 

8 113 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 
YELLOW COLTSFOOT Tussilayo Farfara (L.). 

A large proportion of our flowers of midsummer and 
Autumn are of the Composite Order, but in the spring 
they are rare, with a few exceptions such as the Early- 
flowering Everlasting, the Fleabanes and the Coltsfoot. 

The first flower that blossoms is the Coltsfoot (Tussilago 
Farfara L.), which breaks the ground in April with its 
scaly leafless stem and single-headed orange-yellow rayed 
flower. It is a coarse, uninteresting plant, not common 
excepting in wet clayey soil; seldom found in the forest. 
It is the earliest plant of the Canadian spring and prized 
on that account and for its medicinal virtue, real or 
imaginary. Both flower and leaf are larger than the 
British species, but its habits are similar. 

In July, August and September our rayed flowers pre- 
dominate, especially in the two latter months; it is then, 
when the more delicate herbaceous flowers are perfecting 
their seeds, that our hardy Sunflowers lift up their showy 
heads and seem to court the glare of the summer sunshine; 
it is then that we see our open fields gay with Eudbeckias, 
Chrysanthemums, Ragworts, Goldenrods, Thistles and 
Hawkweeds. In the forest we find our White Eupatoriums, 
Prenanthes and Fireweeds. On all waste and neglected 
spots the wild Chamomile abounds, as if to supply a tonic for 
agues and intermittents. The beautiful Aster family may 
now be seen in fields, by waysides, on lonely lake-shores, in 
thickets, on the margins of pools and mill-dams, or waving 
its graceful flowery branches on the grassy plains and 
within the precincts of the forest. There are species for 
each locality white, blue, purple, lilac, pearly-blue with 
many varieties of shade, height and foliage; some species 
graceful, bending, and spreading, others stiff, upright and 

114 



NATIVE WILD FLOWEBS 

coarse; but the species are numberless and their habits as 
various. The most elegant are the Aster cordifolius (L.), 
and A. puniceus (Ait.) ; the most delicate the little 
white shrubby Aster (A. multiflorus L.), with reddish 
disc and golden-tipped anthers, which give a lovely look 
to the crowded small white-rayed flowers, as if they 
were spangled with gold-dust. On dry gravelly banks near 
lakes and streams is the favorite haunt of this pretty 
Aster. The plant is much branched, the branches growing 
at right-angles to the stem, crossed with narrow leaves, and 
bearing an abundance of small daisy-like blossoms. On the 
springy shores of ponds and the banks of low creeks an 
upright single-headed Aster (A. wstivus) may be seen, 
with bright azure rays and yellow disc, together with a tall 
woody-stemmed, flat-topped, coarsely-rayed white species, 
Diplopappus umbellatus (T. & G.). The large-flowered, 
branching, many-blossomed, purple-rayed Asters are chiefly 
found in dry fields, by wayside fences, and among loose 
rocks and stones, giving beauty where all else is rough and 
unsightly, making the desert to blossom as a garden. 

CONEFLOWER Rudbeckia liirta (L.). 

(PLATE VII.) 

The Coneflower is one of the handsomest of our rayed 
flowers. The gorgeous flaming orange dress, with the deep 
purple disc of almost metallic lustre, is one of the orna- 
ments of all our wild open prairie-like plains during the 
hot months of July, August and September. We find the 
Coneflower on sunny spots among the wild herbage of 
grassy thickets, associated with wild Sunflowers, Asters 
and other plants of the widely diffused Composite Order. 

Many of these compound flowers possess medicinal 
qualities. Some, as the Sow-thistle, Dandelion, Wild 

us 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

Lettuce and others, are narcotic, being supplied with an 
abundance of bitter milky juice. The Sunflower, Coreopsis, 
Coneflower, Kagweed, and Tansy contain resinous pro- 
perties. 

The beautiful Aster family, if not remarkable for any 
peculiarly useful qualities, contains many highly ornamental 
plants. Numerous species of these charming flowers belong 
to our Canadian flora, lingering with us 

" When fairer flowers are all decayed," 

brightening the waste places and banks of lakes and lonely 
streams with starry flowers of every hue and shade white, 
pearly-blue and deep purple. 

The Coneflower is from one to three feet in height, the 
stem simple or branching, each branchlet terminating in a 
single head. The rays are of a deep orange color, varying 
to yellow; the leaves broadly lanceolate, sometimes once or 
twice lobed, partly clasping the rough hairy stem, hoary and 
of a dull green, few and scattered. The scales of the chaffy 
disc are of a dark shining purple, forming a somewhat 
depressed cone. This species, with a slenderer-stemmed 
variety with rays of a golden yellow, are to be met with 
largely diffused over the Province. 

Many splendid species of the Coneflower are to be 
found on the wide-spread prairies of the West, where their 
brilliant starry flowers are mingled with many a gay 
blossom known best to the wild Indian hunter and the 
herb-seeking Medicine-men of the native tribes, who know 
their medicinal and healing qualities, if they are insensible 
to their outward beauty. One tall purple-rayed species 
(Nchinacea purpurea) is very handsome. 

I sometimes think that, though apparently indifferent 
to the beauties of Nature, our laborers are not really so 

116 



NATIVE WILD FLOWEKS 

unobservant or apathetic as we suppose them to be; but 
that, being unable to express themselves in suitable language, 
they are silent on subjects concerning which more enlarged 
minds can speak eloquently, having words at their command. 
The uneducated know little of the art of word painting in 
describing the beautiful or the sublime. 

SPICE WINTERGREEN Gaultherid procumbens (L.). 

This pretty little plant has many names besides the one 
above: it is also known as Teaberry, Checkerberry and 
Aromatic Wintergreen; but it shares these English names 
with many other forest plants. 

The aromatic flavor of its leaves and berries has made 
the Spice Wintergreen a favorite, not with the Indians 
only but also with the confectioners, who introduce the 
essential oil that is extracted from the leaves and fruit into 
their sugar confections. It is also an ingredient in many 
of the tonic and alterative bitters prepared and sold by the 
druggists in Canada. The squaws chew the dry, spicy, 
mealy berries when ripe with great relish; and in the lodge 
the Indian hunter smokes the leaves as a substitute for 
tobacco, for when burnt they give out a pleasant aromatic 
smell. The leaves are warm and stimulant, agreeable to 
the taste and perfectly wholesome. 

The creeping root-stock throws up simple upright stems 
at intervals, crowned with a few smooth thick shining 
leaves of a bright green color. The flowers are three or 
four in number, resembling in form the Arbutus, Heath, 
Huckleberry and others of the family, being a roundish bell, 
contracted at the neck, pale white or flesh-colored. The fruit, 
which is persistent through the winter, is of a brilliant 
scarlet. The fleshy calyx is of the same texture and color 

117 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

and forms a part of the edible berry. The habit of the 
plant is evergreen, and it may be found on sandy knolls, 
in thickets, and under the shade of bushes in oak-openings; 
a finer, larger form is also to be met with in the forest, in 
cedar swamps, the leaves, fruit and flowers being nearly 
twice the size of the above. The leaves are strongly 
revolute at the edges, very smooth and shining. 

There is nothing that we cling to with fonder affection 
than the flowers of our country, especially such as in 
childhood we delighted to gather. Thus the daisy, prim- 
rose and violet of England and Ireland and the bonnie 
heather and harebell of old Scotia are dear to the heart 
of the emigrant, and the sight of one of these beloved 
flowers, cherished in a garden or greenhouse, will awaken 
the tenderest emotions. An old Scotchwoman when asked 
how she liked Canada replied, " Ay, nae dout it's a gude 
land for food and for the bairns, but there is nae a bit of 
heather or ae bonny bluebell in a' the Ian'. It's nae like 
my ain country." 

When shown a bunch of harebells which I had gathered 
fresh from a gravelly bank, she grat (wept) at the sight of 
rthem. " To see," she said, " the bonnie wee things once 
jnair before I die !" 

I was once touched by the rapture, even to tears, of a 
Swiss nurse who, on seeing some flowers of the Alpine 
Kanunculus growing in the garden of Tavistock Square, 
flung herself on the grass beside them and kissing each 
blossom cried out, "Ah! fleur de mon pays!" (Ah! flower 
of my country!) 

The brilliant scarlet berries of several of the shrubby 
little Wintergreens, forming so gay a contrast to the dark 
glossy foliage, render them very attractive. 

118 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

On dry rocky hills we find the Box-leaved Wintergreen 
or Bearberry (Arctostapliylos Uva-ursi Spreng.), which 
clothes the dry rocky and gravelly hills all through the 
continent of North America, is found far to the north, 
even in barren Labrador, and on the rocky slopes of the 
far-off Hudson's Bay. It abounds far north in Norway, 
and clothes the ground with its spreading branches. As 
winter approaches the dark green leaves assume a purplish- 
bronze hue, which is enlivened by the bright red berries. 
These pretty evergreens might be adopted as a substitute 
for the holly by such as care to keep up the old custom of 
dressing the house with green boughs at Christmas-tide 
in honor of the birthday of the Saviour. Might not the 
primitive Christians have intended by these emblems to 
keep faith, hope and charity ever green within the church 
and homestead. 

A deeper meaning often lies in the old usages of our 
forefathers than we are willing to acknowledge in this 
our day of cotton-spinning and gold-digging, railroads and 
electric telegraphs. 

RATTLESNAKE ROOT Nabalus albus (Hook.). 

This tall stately-growing plant belongs to the same 
natural order as the Lettuce, and, like it, abounds in a 
bitter milky juice which pervades the thick spindle-shaped 
root, the leaves and stem, even to the pedicels of the grace- 
ful nodding pendent flowers. 

The plant, applied both externally and internally, has 
long had the reputation of being an antidote for the bite of 
the Rattlesnake. 

The slender ligulate corollas which surround the cin- 
namon-colored pappus are beautifully striped with purple 
and creamy white; the pointed tips are turned backwards 

119 



STUDIES OP PLANT LIFE 

in the full-blown flowers, displaying the stamens and 
pistils and soft woolly pappus. The clustered flowers, on 
slender footstalks, droop very gracefully at intervals on 
the stem, which with the branchlets have a purplish tinge. 

In the variety Serpentaria this color pervades the whole 
plant to a greater degree, and the leaves are more deeply 
divided than in the type. 

In damp rich woods we often find a slender, delicate 
species which is commonly called 

LIONVFOOT Nabalus altissimus (Hook.). 

The plant is from two to three feet high; leaves light 
green, thin, coarsely toothed and widely lobed. The strap- 
shaped flowers are narrow, pointed and revolute; the scales 
are of a pale green, the pappus of a beautiful fawn color. 
The elegant yellow drooping flowers, in clusters, make this 
forest plant a very attractive object. 

The above plant was pointed out to me as the true 
Lion's-foot by an old Yankee settler, and I have retained 
the name, though it does not quite correspond with Gray's 
plant, so called. Gray's Lion's-foot is also known as Gall 
of the Earth, from the intense bitterness of its root; 
possibly all these bitter milky- juiced plants are narcotics, 
but as yet not recognized unless by the unlearned Indian 
or the old herbalist of some remote backwoods settlement 
where doctors and druggists were unknown and the herbs of 
the field were the only medicaments generally administered 
by an old woman famed more for her herb decoctions and 
plasters than for her wisdom in book-learning, who believed 
that there was a salve for every sore and a potion for every 
ailment under the sun if the folk had but faith to believe 
in her " yarbs." 



120 



PLATE XIII 



PLATE XIII. 

1. Showy Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium spectabile). P. 45. 

2. Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia). P. 80. 

3. Wild Orange Lily (Lilium Philadelphicum). P. 78. 







fttll-bl' and 

ppus. Th; 

droop very gracefully , on 

rth the branch lets have a pur 
rpentaria this color pervades 
degree, and tlu* ! .ve. moiv 

* the type. 

dam}> rich woods \s slender, deli 

es wlii i unionl v 

LION 'S-FOOT 

The plant is fron leaves light 

green, thin, co- The strap- 

shaped flowers the scales 

are of ;i - InX 3TAJ*! fawn color. 

3f .S .(slid^osqz moibsqhqyO) isqqilg 2'yb^J ywbrf8 ! If 8 

08 .q .(AaaHbnojcn *lun&qm O) IMsraH . 
8V .S .(mooiHqf3b^H<? mwliJ) yliJ 98njS1 o bHW .t 

retained 

; Gray's 

A n as Hall 

of f Its root; 

possibly 

but as learned Indian 

or the old < >ols settle) 

where doctors and .MI and the herbs of 

the field were the w- aistered 

Id woman famed no nis and 

than for her v ho believed 

there was a salve for very 

sun if believe 






PLATE XIII. 



v , 




NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

THOROUGHWORTS. 

There is a popular belief among many of our native 
herbalists that for every disease that man is subject to 
God in His mercy has provided a certain remedy in the 
herbs of the field and trees of the forest; that there is a 
sovereign virtue in roots and barks and leaves and flowers 
if man will but search them out and test their qualities. 

The use of "simples," as the vegetable medicaments used 
emphatically to be termed, has always found advocates in 
the lower classes, especially amongst the humble country- 
folk, who dread mineral medicines, with the nature of 
which they are totally unacquainted preferring the herbs 
of the field, which they see growing about them, to the 
more costly "doctor's stuff," as they call the prescriptive 
medicines of the physician. To the herb doctor they apply 
with every confidence, entertaining no fear of the vegetable 
poisons in which he often deals; in his skill they have 
unlimited faith. 

Much of this kind of knowledge is possessed by the old 
Canadian and the Yankee settlers, hardy pioneers who 
emigrated from the United States at the close of the 
Revolutionary War, induced by the promised reward of 
certain grants of land in return for their professed or 
actually proved attachment to the British Government. 
These families, under the appellation of U. E. or United 
Empire Loyalists, spread themselves along the then un- 
broken forests on the shores of the St. Lawrence, and bore 
hardships and privations of which there are few parallel 
cases. 

Dwellers in the lonely leafy wilderness, with no road but 
the rushing river or broad-spread sea-like lake, they lived 
apart from their fellow -men; self-dependent, they relied 

121 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

upon their own ingenuity and personal exertions for the 
actual necessaries of life. The men supplied the household 
with game from the forest (it was over-plentiful in those 
days) and fish from the lakes and streams; while in clear- 
ing the land, and cultivating it in the rude fashion of the 
time, the women and children, without respect of age and 
sex, did their part. On the females depended the manu- 
facture of every article of clothing; the loom occupied a 
prominent place in the log house, and the big spinning- 
wheel occupied the " stoop " in summer. 

Occasionally a few families, bound together by ties of 
love or interest, wisely formed a colony and lived within a 
reasonable distance from one another; but more commonly, 
their grants comprising many hundreds of acres, according 
to the number of persons in one household; the settlers were 
thrown far apart. A blazed path through the forest was 
their only means of communication by land, and this often 
interrupted by rapid unbridged streams or impenetrable 
cedar-swamps. 

In case of accidents, such as wounds from axes, broken 
limbs, and such ailments as agues and fevers, necessity 
compelled active measures to be adopted on the spot; of 
medical practitioners, so called, there were none ; the broken 
limbs were set by those in the settlement possessed of the 
most nerve, while the elder women bound up the wounds or 
gathered the healing herbs which they had learned to dis- 
tinguish by experience, or from oral tradition, as being 
curative in certain disorders. Something of this healing art 
was derived from their ancestors, who had the knowledge 
from the Indian medicine-men; and some remedies were, no 
doubt, discovered by chance a happy thought seized upon 
and put into practice in some desperate case, where the 
chances of life hung upon something being done to relieve 
the sufferer. 

122 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

To these simple people, no doubt, we owe many of the 
significant local names by which our native plants are still 
distinguished, and which will always be adopted when 
speaking of them in familiar parlance. Occasionally we 
pause and ponder on the source whence such a name as 
Boneset, for Eupatorium perfoliatum (L.), has been derived. 
We can only surmise that the powerful virtues of the plant 
are serviceable, in cases of dislocations and fractures, in 
reducing fever and causing a more healthy action of the 
blood, thus accelerating the return of strength to the injured 
limb. 

The sanative qualities of these plants are no new dis- 
covery, nor are the medicinal properties confined to one 
species alone; some are used in curing the bites of snakes, 
as E. ageratoides (L.), and an infusion of the leaves of 
another species is an excellent diet drink; almost all are 
sudorifics and tonics. 

The genus Eupatorium is dedicated to Eupator Mithri- 
dates, who is said to have used a species of the genus in 
medicine. Several species of these homely plants are used 
in fevers and intermittents by the herb-doctors and Indians. 

The tallest and most showy of the Eupatoriums is 

TRUMPETWEED THOROUGHWORT E. purpureum (L.). 

The flowers, in dense corymbs, are of a deep flesh-color, 
approaching to red; leaves shining, coarsely veined, narrow- 
ing to a point, the upper ones much narrower, mostly 
growing in whorls round the stout stein. The plant has a 
bitter, somewhat resinous scent when the leaves are bruised. 
This tall Thoroughwort is abundant on the banks of creeks 
and in marshy places, where it often reaches the height of 
five or six feet. 

123 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

The red-flowered Eupatorium, the old Thoroughwort of 
the English herbalists, closely resembles our Canadian 
plant; its habits, colors and qualities seem the same. When 
viewing the native species it appears to carry my thoughts 
back to childish haunts on the banks of the clear-flowing 
Waveney and the flowery Suffolk meadows, 

" Where in childhood I strayed, 
And plucked the wild flowers that hung over the way." 

A more graceful member of the Eupatorium family is the 
WHITE SNAKEROOT Eupatorium ageratoides (L.), 

which is a pretty, elegant, perennial plant found in rich 
woods. The white flowers are borne in compound corymbs. 

The leaves are from two to three inches long, toothed, 
narrowly pointed, on long stalks, and of a bright green, 
smooth and thin. Our plant is about three feet high, wide 
and loosely spreading. The pretty white corymbs of flowers 
make this an attraction among the forest herbage, for at the 
season when it is in bloom most of the flowers have dis- 
appeared from the woods. 

Not unfrequently we find in damp woods, but more espe- 
cially on open marshy ground, the well-known herb. 

BONESET Eupatorium perfoliatum (L.). 

This species is easily distinguished from any other by its 
veiny hoary grayish-green leaves, united at the base around 
the stem, or perfoliate, the stem of the plant passing through 
the centre of each pair. The large closely-set corymbs of 
flowers are of a greenish-white and want the pretty tasselled 
appearance of the White Snakeroot (E. ageratoides}. The 
scent of this more homely plant is strongly resinous and 
bitter, but it is held in great esteem for certain qualities of 

124 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

a tonic and anti-febrile nature, and it forms one of the old 
remedies for ague and fever. 

In evidence of the value of the herb Boneset, Pursh gives 
a practical illustration from his personal experience of the 
efficacy of its medicinal properties. He says: 

" The whole plant is exceedingly bitter, and has been used 
for ages past by the natives in intermittent fevers; it is 
known by its common names, Thorough wort and Boneset. 
During my stay in the neighborhood of Ontario, when both 
influenza and lake fever were raging, I saw the benefit aris- 
ing from the use of it, both as regarded myself and others. 
It is used as a decoction, or, as I considered more effectual, 
as an infusion or extract in rum or gin." (Vide Pursh's 
Flora Americw Septentrionalis.) 

MAYWEED Maruta Cotula (DC.). 

" The traveller passes by 
With reckless glance and careless tread, 
Nor marks the kindly carpet spread 
Beneath his thankless feet. 

" So poor a meed of sympathy 
Do gracious herbs of low degree 

From haughty mortals meet." 

Agnes Strickland. 

This is one of our commonest weeds, intruding itself 
into the very streets and by-lanes of our villages, but never 
welcome there, as it gives out a nauseous bitter scent at 
dew-fall. The more sunny the place and the drier the soil 
the more does this hardy plant flourish; it heeds not the 
trampling feet of man or steed, but rises uninjured from 
the tread of the passer-by, cheerful under all persecution, 
despised and disregarded as it is. If we look closely we see 
beauty in the finely cut and divided foliage and the ivory- 

125 



STUDIES OP PLANT LIFE 

white daisy-like flowers which appear all through the 
summer; but when seen in dirty streets we overlook its 
merits and turn from it with distaste. This feeling is not 
very amiable, but it is natural to dislike whatever is vulgar, 
low and intrusive. 

WILD SUNFLOWER Helianthus strigosus (L.). 

" As the sunflower turns to her god as he sets 
The same look which she turned when he rose." 

Moore. 

So sings the Irish bard, but I rather fancy it is a poetical 
illusion, for I have watched the flowers and never could 
convince myself of the fact. However, we may hope that 
as the Sunflower has become so fashionable an ornament in 
the present day, some of its devoted lovers will strive to 
ascertain the truth of the tradition. 

As a not very graceful badge of the votaries of sestheti- 
cism, we see the garish orange Sunflower w r orn in hats and 
bonnets, as ornaments for breast and sleeves, and reproduced 
in needle-work and other ornamental designs for the boudoir 
or drawing-room. Eows of the gigantic flowers may now be 
seen lolling their jolly heads in gardens and lording it over 
the humbler and lowlier blossoms. 

We have many flowers of this wide-spread tribe of plants 
extending through the country wherever the soil and sur- 
roundings are favorable to their growth; especially may 
different members of these rayed flowers be found on dry 
plains, in open copse-woods, and on the banks of streams 
where the soil is sandy or gravelly. 

So numerous are the varieties that it would be tedious to 
enumerate them. One of the handsomest is H. strigosus 
(L.). The Sunflowers form one of the distinguishing floral 
ornaments of the Canadian plains and of the extensive 

126 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

prairies of the North-west, where miles of Sunflowers, 
Kudbeckias, Liatris and other gorgeous flowers blue, white, 
red may be seen all through the hot summer months, the 
orange and yellow stars of the Helianthus tribe above all 
conspicuously apparent. 

The garden Sunflower may often be met with within the 
forest, the seed having been carried by the ground-hog or 
squirrel and dropped on the road. I have seen little piles 
of the ripe seed of the garden Sunflower lying on stumps 
and rails to dry, the industrious little gleaners depositing 
them in such places to be hoarded at their convenience in 
their granaries. The same thing may be noticed during the 
harvest-time near the wheat-fields. I have watched with 
no little curiosity the heaps of wheat left by these little 
innocent gleaners, and have seen them come with their com- 
panions to fetch away their newly-threshed stores, having 
first carefully destroyed the germs. Who taught the squirrel 
this latter wise precaution to prevent the germination of the 
grain? 

Many years ago, while living on a wild lot on the Rice 
Lake, my son, in digging the ground for the construction of 
a root-house, discovered a granary of a squirrel, or it might 
be of a ground-hog, the Canadian marmot. A large supply 
of Indian corn, beech-nuts and acorns was stored many feet 
below the surface of the dry sandy soil; but the eye or 
germ had been carefully bitten out of each one. 

DANDELION Taraxacum Dens-leonis ( Desf . ) . 

The Composite Order presents us with more numerous 
families of plants than any other, and supplies us with a 
host of flowers, and also some troublesome weeds, which are 
of wide diffusion, the winged seeds being borne to great 

127 



STUDIES OP PLANT LIFE 

distances and establishing themselves wherever they chance 
to alight. Many an unnamed flower exists, no doubt, in 
secluded spots where as yet the foot of man has never 
trod. Those primitive wilds where even the hardy lum- 
berman's axe has never been heard, those rugged hills 
known only to the eagle and the falcon, those deep cedar 
swamps that afford shelter to the wolf, the bear and the 
wildcat, conceal many a graceful shrub and rare plant that 
one day may be gazed on with admiring eyes by the for- 
tunate naturalist, whose reward may possibly be to have his 
name conferred upon the newly-discovered floral treasure. 

A large number of plants of the Composite Order are 
remarkable for the bitter milky juice contained in the leaves, 
stalks and roots, the properties of which are narcotic and 
sedative. This bitter milky juice pervades all parts of the 
Dandelion or Taraxacum; also the Wild Endive and other 
members of the Lettuce tribe. 

The Dandelion is so well known that it is unnecessary to 
enter into any description of its floral parts. The root of 
the Dandelion has been utilized as a substitute for coffee; 
in preparing it the root should be washed thoroughly, but 
the thin brown skin not scraped off, as much of the tonic 
virtue is contained in this brown covering of the root. This 
must be cut up into small pieces and dried by degrees in the 
oven until it becomes dry and crisp enough to grind in the 
coffee-mill; it is then used in the same way as the coffee- 
berry, with the addition of milk and sugar. A small portion 
of fresh coffee would, I think, be an improvement to the 
beverage, but it is not usually added. Many persons have 
used this preparation of the Dandelion and greatly approved 
of it. It is a good tonic and very wholesome. The herb 
itself, if the leaves be blanched, makes a good salad, equal 
to the garden Endive. 

128 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 
PURSLANE Portulaca oleracea (L.). 

This is one of the troublesome weeds of our gardens, and 
one would hardly associate it with the brilliant showy 
flower of our borders. We must, however, recognize it as a 
near relation. The original of the cultivated Portulaca of 
our gardens is P. grandi flora, from South America, whence 
it was introduced some years ago. Even in its wild state, 
or on its native prairies, it is a strikingly attractive flower, 
claiming the admiration of the beholder; but our humbler 
species is regarded as a thing of naught. The simple Pur- 
slane, however, has its virtues, and we will try to rescue 
it from being utterly despised by showing how it may be 
utilized. When the plant first appears it pushes forth small 
wedge-shaped succulent leaves, of a dull red color, and soon 
spreads over the ground, branching at every thickened joint. 
If the soil be rich it becomes very luxuriant, and being very 
tenacious of life, it is difficult to get rid of it, as it springs 
again from the joints, flourishing the more vigorously from 
the persecution it has undergone. The axil of every joint 
is furnished with a small sharply-pointed red bud. The 
flowers are small, pale yellow, opening in sunshine; the pod 
many seeded, with a little round lid that covers the top of 
the capsule. 

The soft, oily mildness of the leaves and stalks of this 
plant renders it useful as an application, crushed or steeped 
in hot water or milk, for inflammatory tumors. I have seen 
it also recommended as a pot-herb for the table in fact, it 
is largely grown in France for that purpose; I have also 
heard it said that it may be used as a dye, but that the blue 
^color produced is very evanescent.* 

* I cooked it for greens and found it very nice. A.D.C. 

9 129 , 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 
WILD BERGAMOT Monarda fistulosa (L.). 

Among the Mints we have many different species, all 
odorous, pungent and aromatic; some have pretty flowers, 
but generally speaking they are more valued for their 
qualities than chosen for any striking beauty of color in 
the blossoms. We have Spearmint, Peppermint, Horsemint, 
Catnip and many others of this humble but not useless 
family. 

The plants of the Natural Order Labiatse are remarkable 
for being mostly aromatic and pungent; although some are 
coarse and rank in odor, none are hurtful. 

One of the handsomest and most agreeable in scent is the 
tall Monarda or Wild Bergamot, a very handsome sweet- 
scented plant, common upon our oak-openings and wild 
grassy plains and dry uplands. I have seen a very pretty 
variety Mowarda fistulosa (L.), var. mollis (Benth) with 
rose-colored blossoms and glandular flowers, from the Poplar 
Hills, Manitoba. The species so commonly seen on the hilly 
ground above Kice Lake Monarda fistulosa (L.) is tall, 
with soft leaves of a dull green, of a fine aromatic scent and 
velvety surface; the globular heads of the lilac-lipped 
flowers are terminal; the color of the corolla varies from 
lilac to very pale pinkish-white. 

AU the species are sweet-scented and might be utilized to 
advantage as an aromatic flavoring, the Bergamot being far 
more delicate and agreeable than the Wintergreen which is 
so largely used in confections. 

HEALALL Prunella vulgaris (L.). 

Thia simple herb is commonly found in grassy meadows 
and on wayside waste-lands, near rivers and low grounds. 
It is common everywhere, yet it is generally thought to be an 

130 



NATIVE WILD FLOWEKS 

exotic, having been introduced among foreign grasses and 
thus become naturalized to the country. 

There seems to be really no special virtue in the plant; 
though it boasts of a name which should entitle it to notice, 
yet we are ignorant of its medicinal or healing uses. It is 
destitute of any sweetness, but the blossoms are pretty and 
associated with English meadows and green bowery lanes, 
so we look kindly upon the purple-lipped flower for the dear 
Old Country's sake. 

COMMON MULLEIN Verbascum Thapsus (L.). 

This plant is one of the tallest of our wayside weeds; the 
large soft leaves, densely clothed with silky white hairs, are 
not considered without value by the herb-doctors. They are 
used in pulmonary disorders, as outward - applications for 
healing purposes, and in such complaints as dysentery, to 
allay pain; the leaves are made hot before the fire and so 
laid over the body of the sufferer. Moreover, this wonderful 
plant, if laid in cellars or granaries, is said to drive away 
rats and mice; but this virtue may be only a fond delusion. 
Commend me rather to Miss Pussy as a more certain exter- 
minator of these troublesome household pests. A grand and 
stately spike of golden flowers, called Giant-taper, grew m 
my father's garden, and was the resort of honey-bees in- 
numerable. Homely as our Canadian plant is considered to 
be, yet it has uses of its own besides those attributed to 
it by the old settlers. The abundance of the seeds, which 
remain in the hard capsules during the winter, afford a 
bountiful supply of food for the small birds that come to us, 
early in Spring. In March, and early in April, the snow- 
birds and their associates, the little chestnut-crowned 
sparrows, 

" That come before the swallow dares," 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

and the brown song sparrows, may be seen eagerly feasting 
on the dry seeds which still remain on the withered plants. 
Later on, in May and June, the soft gray down of the hoary 
leaves is used as lining for the nests of the humming-birds 
and other small birds that weave dainty soft cradles for 
the tiny families that need such tender care. Taught by 
unerring wisdom, each mother-bird seeks its most suitable 
material, and appropriates it for the use and comfort of its 
unknown, unseen brood. Let us not despise the common 
Mullein, for may it not remind us of Him who careth for 
the birds of the air, and giveth them from His abundant 
stores their meat in due season, and that wonderful unerring 
wisdom that we call instinct. " Who least, hath some; who 
most, hath never all." 

FALSE FOXGLOVE Gerardia quercifolia (Pursh). 

(PLATE XII.) 

I think old Gerarde, the first English writer on the wild 
flowers and native plants of England (for whose memory 
all botanists feel a sort of veneration), would have given a 
far better description of the stately plant honored by his 
name than the writer of this little work can hope to do, 
seeing that the only native species that has come within 
her knowledge is a slender purple-flowered Gerardia, G. 
purpurea, which grows on the margin of Rice Lake, among 
wild grasses and other herbage. 

It has been said by one who was a diligent botanist and 
naturalist (the late Dr. G. G. Bird), that no Gerardias were 
found north of the Great Lakes, but all were confined to the 
Western and Eastern States; this, however, was a mistake. 
At that date very little was known of the Canadian Flora. 
It was the trying time of pioneer life in the backwoods, 
when little heed was taken of the vegetable productions of 

132 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

the country. Even the trees of the forest were hardly dis- 
tinguished by name, and much less were the wild flowers 
cared for, unless some of the settlers knew of curative 
medicines to be extracted from the leaves or roots, or of 
some household dye for the home-spun flannel garments 
which were then all that could be obtained as clothing for 
their families. 

But to return to my Gerardias, several fine species have 
been found growing on the islands of Lake Ontario and on 
the banks of the Humber, that fruitful wilderness of many 
flowers; and doubtless these handsome, showy plants are 
well known in many localities westward in the Dominion of 
Canada. 

The handsomest of all is G. quercifolia, Oak-leaved 
Gerardia, a robust, stately plant of from three to six feet 
in height, with large open-throated orange bells ; it is known 
as False Foxglove. There are several fine purple-flowered 
species, and others of paler yellow than quercifolia, with 
stems coarse, rigid, downy or bristly; the leaves are mostly 
rough on the surface and of a dull green. 

I am not aware of any particularly useful qualities attri- 
buted to this genus, but as ornaments to our gardens they 
would prove very attractive one of the most suitable is 
G. pedicularia, a very much branched species which grows 
in dry thickets; it is about two feet high, has prettily lobed 
foliage, and bears a profusion of yellow flowers. It seems a 
pity that these beautiful plants should be passed by as only 
weeds, unnoticed and unvalued. 

GAYFEATHER BUTTON SNAKEROOT Liatris cylindracea 

(Michx.). 

This pretty purple flower is found growing on dry hills, 
near lakes and rivers, on sandy flats and old dried water- 

133 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

courses. The slender, stiff, upright stem is clothed with 
rigid, narrow, grass-like, dark green leaves, the longest 
being nearest to the root. The flowers form a long spike 
of densely -flowered heads; the scales of the involucre that 
surrounds them are green, tipped with black, and finely 
fringed; the styles protrude beyond the tips of the corolla. 
The root is a round corm, about the size of that of the 
crocus, sweetish and slightly astringent, mealy when roasted, 
and not unpleasant to the taste. The roots are sought after 
by the ground-hogs, which animals often make their burrows 
near the place where the plants abound, which is often on 
the slopes of dry, gravelly hills ; at any rate it is on the 
sides of ravines, on the dry plains above Eice Lake, and on 
islands in our chain of back lakes in Burleigh and Smith, 
where I have found the bright Gayfeather blooming in the 
hot month of August. The seeds are hairy, almost bristly, 
of a light sandy brown when ripe. The blossoms, when quite 
dry, retain their beautiful color, even for many years, 
and may be mixed with the flowers of the Pearly Everlasting 
for winter bouquets or ornamental wreaths. 

One of the species of this family, L. scariosa, a handsome 
flower found on our North-western prairies, is known by the 
name of Blazing Star. The showy flowers of the Liatris 
family, and their hardy habits, make them desirable plants 
for cultivation. They are easily propagated from seed. 

GOLDENROD SoUdago latifolia (L.). 

The Solidagos are among our late August and September 
wild flowers, coming in with the hot summer suns which 
have given the ripened grain to the cradle scythe of the 
harvester. The Trilliums and Lupines and gorgeous Orange 
Lilies have departed with the Moccasin-flowers, the sweet- 

134 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

scented Pyrolas, and the Wild Koses. Many of the fair 
flowers have faded and gone, but we are not quite deserted; 
we have yet our graceful Asters, our pretty Gayfeathers, 
our Sunflowers, Coneflowers and the blue Gentians, and 
brightening the waysides with many a gay, golden sceptre- 
like branch, our hardy, sunny Goldenrods, varying in 
color from gorgeous orange to pale straw-color, from the 
tall stemmed 8. gigantea to the slender wand-like forms of 
the dwarf species, of which we possess many kinds, some 
with hoary foliage, others with narrow willow-like leaves of 
darker hue. On the grassy borders of inland forest streams 
we find the Goldenrods; they seem to accommodate them- 
selves to every kind of soil and situation. The rocky clefts 
of islands are gay with their bright colors, the moist shores 
of lakes, the sterile, dusty waysides, corners of rail-fences 
or the forest shades, no spot so rude but bears one or another 
species of these hardy plants; a coarse but grand genus, 
and not without its value. Not for ornament alone is the 
Goldenrod prized. The thrifty wives of the old Canadian 
settlers prized it as a dye-weed, and gathered the blossoms 
for the coloring matter that they extracted from them, with 
which they dyed their yarn yellow or green. 

One of the late flowering species, S. latifolia, is remark- 
able for its fragrance ; it is slender in habit, the lax branches 
trailing upon the ground in grassy woodlands. The leaves 
are large, very sharply and coarsely toothed, margined on 
the leafstalk, terminating in a slender point at the apex. 
The blossoms, which are larger than those of many of the 
taller species, are clustered in the axils of the large thin 
leaves at rather distant intervals along the slender branches ; 
the silky pappus of the winged seeds is tinged with purplish- 
brown, the flowers are golden-yellow. 

135 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

STRAWBERRY ELITE '-INDIAN STRAWBERRY Blitum 
capitatum (L.). 

(PLATE XIX.) 

The Strawberry Elite or, as it, is often called, Indian 
Strawberry is widely spread over the Northern States and 
Canada. Wherever the forest has been cleared it is sure to 
appear, as it seems to affect the rich black leaf -mould of 
the newly-cleared forest. 

It is not indeed found within the close thick forest, but 
appears wherever a partial clearing has been made. It may 
be seen close to the rough log walls of the lumberer's or 
chopper's shanty, flourishing in great luxuriance under this 
half culture. On forest land that has been burnt over and 
left uncropped it may be seen in perfection, and within 
the garden enclosure, where it becomes a common weed, 
though truly more ornamental than many a flower that the 
gardener cultivates with care and trouble. 

When fully ripe the long spikes of crimson fruit and the 
foliage, of a bright green color, have a beautiful appearance, 
tempting the hand to pluck the richly-colored seed clusters; 
but beauty is not always to be trusted, and in this case the 
eye is deceived and the taste disappointed. The fruit is 
insipid and flavorless, though not unwholesome. 

The red juice is used by the Indian women in dyeing, and 
in old times the backwoods settlers made it a substitute for 
ink, but unless the color be fixed by alum it fades and dis- 
appears from the paper. 

The Indian StraAvberry, or Blite, belongs to the Spinach 
family, and may be used with safety as a substitute for the 
garden vegetable, being perfectly harmless. 

I well remember, many years ago, greatly alarming some 
of my neighbors in the backwoods by gathering the tender 
leaves and shoots of these plants and preparing them for the 

136 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

table. I was assured that death would be the result of my 
experiment; but I was confident in the innocent qualities of 
my fruit-bearing Spinach, and laughed at the prediction that 
I should find death in the pot. 

Nor is the Indian Strawberry the only member of the 
Spinach tribe that is found growing in Canada. We possess 
several others, among these the herbs commonly known by 
the country people as Good King Henry (B. Bonus Henri- 
cus), which has been introduced from Europe, and Lamb's 
Quarters (Chenopodium album), which plants are still made 
use of as spring vegetables, though not now in such repute 
as formerly. Happily few houses, or even shanties, cannot 
boast of a garden around the dAvelling, but many years ago 
it was a rare thing to see even a cabbage-plot fenced in about 
the homestead, and the cultivation of flowers was regarded 
as a piece of useless extravagance, a mark of pride and idle 
vanity. We do not wish those good old times back again ! 

The leaves of the Indian Strawberry are thin, long-pointed, 
somewhat halbert-shaped, with shallow indentations at the 
edges. They are of a bright lively green color. In the earlier 
stages of growth, the flowering spikes stand upright, but as 
the fruit ripens they decline, and are bending or entirely 
prostrate, much resembling the drooping Amaranth (called 
Love Lies Bleeding) of our gardens, but more brilliant in 
hue. The berries of the Indian Strawberry are wrinkled on 
the surface and dotted over with purplish-black seeds, which 
lie embedded in the soft fruity pulp of the altered calyx in a 
manner similar to the Strawberry. The fruit begins to ripen 
in July, and continues by a succession of lateral branches to 
bear its red clusters all through August, after which the 
frosts of September cut it off and destroy the beauty of the 
plant. 

137 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 
TURTLEHEAD SNAKEHEAD Chelone glabra (L.). 

(PLATE XII.) 

This coarse but rather showy plant is found in damp 
thickets near lakes and streams. The large white two- 
lipped flowers grow in terminal clusters or spikes ; the upper 
lip projects downward like a turtle's bill; the foliage is 
dark green, the leaves opposite, the edges coarsely-toothed, 
long and sharp-pointed; the stem, simple, or widely branch- 
ing and bushy; the large handsome white flowers are often 
tinged with red or purplish-red ; the blossom is open-throated, 
somewhat contracted at the mouth by the overhanging of the 
upper lip. The whole plant is from two to three feet high. 
The name of the genus is derived from a Greek word which 
signifies a tortoise, the form of the beaked corolla resembling 
the head of a rep'tile; hence also the common name Snake- 
head, from the fancied likeness to the open mouth of a snake. 
The flowering season is from July to September; probably 
under cultivation this flower would become highly orna- 
mental as a large border plant. 

There are many very ornamental flowers belonging to the 
same natural order as the Turtlehead, among which are 
the Beard-tongue (Pentstemon pubescens),* Monkey-flower 
(Mimulus), Snapdragon (Antirrhinum), Scarlet-cup (Cas- 
tilleia), and the Gerardia, with many other plants more 
remarkable for beauty than for any useful or healing quali- 
ties, but very showy in the garden and not difficult of cultiva- 
tion. 

CARDINAL FLOWER Lobelia cardinalis (L.). 

(PLATE X.) 

One of the most striking of our native flowers is the Ked 
Lobelia or Cardinal Flower. The plant had found its way 

* See Plate XX. 

138 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

into English gardens as a rarity before I saw it growing in 
all its wild beauty on the margins of the Otonabee, on my 
first journey, or rather voyage, up the country. There, grow- 
ing at the edge of the low grassy flats beside the water, its 
tall loose spike of deep red flowers fluttering in the breeze 
and reddening the surface of the bright river with the reflec- 
tion of its glorious color, this splendid flower first met my 
admiring eyes. 

It was but a short time before that I had seen it cultivated 
as a new and rare border flower, and here it was in all its 
loveliness on the banks of a lonely forest stream which then 
flowed through an almost unbroken wilderness, growing 
uncared for, unsought for and unvalued. The people, a rude 
set of Irish settlers, were amused at the delight with which 
I plucked the flowers. They cared for none of these things; 
they were to them only useless weeds. 

There are several varieties of the Cardinal Flower occa- 
sionally found among the wild plants near the inland lakes 
and creeks of the backwoods, some with flesh-colored corollas, 
or white striped with red; but these variations are not very 
common. The prettiest of the blue-flowered plants of the 
Lobelia family is a small, delicate, branching one, with azure- 
blue and white petals, which is cultivated in hanging baskets, 
as its bright blue flowers and slender leaves droop gracefully 
over the pot or basket and contrast charmingly with larger 
flowers of deeper color and more vivid foliage. 

The largest of the North American Lobelias is L. sypU- 
ilitica* a stout-stemmed, many-flowered species, which is 
chiefly found near springs ; the flowers are full blue and the 
spike much crowded; the height about eighteen or twenty 
inches; leaves light green. The plant seems to flourish in 
clayey soil near water, and is not often cultivated. Another 

* See Plate X. 

139 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

blue-flowered Lobelia of slenderer habit is L. spicata, the 
leaves growing up the wand-like stem in threes, with inter- 
vals between; it has a one-sided look. The spike of flowers 
is loose and scattered, the leaves very thin, long and narrow, 
light-green and smooth. 

Though by no means so showy for, indeed, it is a very 
simple-looking flower but more remarkable for its uses and 
medicinal qualities, is the celebrated 

INDIAN TOBACCO Lobelia inflata (L.). 

This plant is much sought after by the old settlers and by 
the Indian medicine-men, who consider it to be possessed 
of rare virtues, infallible as a remedy in fevers and nervous 
diseases. At first it has the effect of producing utter pros- 
tration of the nervous system, and is known to be of a poison- 
ous nature. It is, I suppose, a case of " kill or cure." 

A decoction of the dried plant relieves fever through the 
pores of the skin; but though used by some of the old 
settlers, it should not be administered by anyone inex- 
perienced in its peculiar effects. The Indians smoke the 
dried leaves, from which fact the common name is derived 
Indian Tobacco. They also call the plant Kinnikinic, which, 
I suppose, means " good to smoke," as the word is also 
applied to one of the Cornels, as well as to the aromatic 
Wintergreen, and more generally to the Bearberry (Arcto- 
staphylos) the leaves of these plants being used as a sub- 
stitute for the common Tobacco, or to increase its influence 
when smoking " the weed." 

The Indian Tobacco is a small branching biennial, from 
nine to eighteen inches high ; leaves ovate-lanceolate, light 
green; seed vessel inflated; flowers pale blue, veined with 
delicate pencilled lines of a darker hue; soil, mostly dry 
woods or open pastures; nature of this innocent looking 

herb a virulent poison. 

140 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

INDIAN PIPE Monotropa uniflora (L.). 

This singular plant has many names, such as Wood Snow- 
drop, Corpse-plant, and Indian Pipe. The plant is perfectly 
colorless from root to flower, of a pellucid texture and seini- 
transparent whiteness. There are no green leaves, but 
instead broad and pointed scales, clasping the rather thick 
stem, which is terminated by one snowy-white flower. The 
flower, when first appearing, is turned to one side and bent 
downwards, but becomes erect as it expands its silvery 
petals: these are five in number; stamens from eight to 
ten; stigma about five-rayed; seed vessel an ovoid pod 
with from eight to ten grooves; seed small and numerous. 
Though so purely white when growing, the whole plant 
turns perfectly black when dried; even a few minutes after 
they are gathered, as if shrinking from the pollution of the 
human hand, they rapidly lose their silvery whiteness and 
become unsightly. To see this curious flower in its perfec- 
tion you must seek it in its forest haunts, under the shade 
of beech and maple woods, where the soil is black and rich; 
there, among decaying vegetables, grows this flower of snowy 
whiteness. 

There are two species of the family. In a hemlock wood 
I found the equally singular 

PINE SAP Monotropa Hypopitys (L.), 

a tawny-colored, scaled, leafless species, with several flowers, 
covered with soft pale yellowish-brown wool, fragrant, and 
full of honey, which fell from the flower cups in heavy 
luscious drops. This plant is of rather rare occurrence; 
it is found here only in pine or hemlock woods, though 
Gray speaks of it as common in oak and pine woods. 

141 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 
GENTIANS. 

" And the blue Gentian flower that in the breeze 
Nods lonely ; of her beauteous race the last." 

Bryant. 

This interesting floral family takes its name from Gentius, 
a king of Illyria, who is said to have been the first to dis- 
cover and be benefited by its sanative properties. The root 
used in medicine is, I believe, a native of Spain. The Alpine 
Gentian so often spoken of by tourists is of low stature, 
with very large intensely -blue upright bells ; " a thing of 
beauty and a joy for ever," even to behold it growing in 
serene loveliness on the edge of the icy glaciers and rude 
moraines of the Swiss Alps. 

Of all our native flowers the Gentians are among the most 
beautiful, from the delicately fringed azure-blue (Bryant's 
flower) to the fair pale softly-tinted Five-flowered Gentian, 
with its narrow bells and light-green leaves. All are lovely 
in color and form, but none more deserving of our attention 
than the large-belled Soapwort Gentian, known also by the 
poetical name of 

CALATHIAN VIOLET Gentiana Saponaria (L.). 

This is the latest of all our wild flowers, coming early in 
the fall of the year and lingering with us 

*' Till fairer flowers are all decayed, 

And thou appearest ; 
Like joys that linger as they fade, 
Whose last are dearest." 

On sandy knolls, among fading grasses and withered 
herbage of our oak plains, we see the royal deep blue open 
bells of this lovely flower, its rich color reminding one of a 
queen's coronation robes. 

142 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

This species somewhat resembles the European G. Pneu- 
monanthe ( Linn. ) , which is also known by the same poetical 
English name. In Sowerby's " English Botany," under the 
head of the last named species, we find : " This pretty little 
plant is worthy of cultivation, and is quaintly mentioned by 
Gerarde, who says, i the gallant flowres hereof bee in their 
bravery about the end of August/ and he tells us that ' the 
later physitions hold it to bee effectual against pestilent 
diseases, and the bi tings and stingings of venomous beasts.' ' 

Our Gentians are the last tribute with which Nature 
decks the earth her last bright treasures ere she drops her 
mantle of spotless snow upon its surface. 

We find our latest flowering Gentian early in September, 
and as late as November. If the season be still an open one, 
it may be seen among the red leaves of the Huckleberry and 
Dwarf Willows on our dry plains above Kice Lake and 
farther northward. The Gentians seem to affect the soil 
on rocky islands and gravelly, open, prairie-like lands, 
among wild grasses. The finest, most luxuriant plants of 
G. Andrewsii were gathered on islands in our back lakes, 
growing in rich mould in rocky crevices. The Five-flowered 
Gentian may be found on dry banks and open grassy wastes, 
while again the exquisite azure-blue single-flowered Dwarf 
Fringed Gentian (Gentiana detonsa Fries) prefers the 
moist banks of rivulets and springs. In drier places may be 
seen the stately many-flowered taller blue Fringed Gentian, 
G. crinita (Froelich). There is also a charming intermediate 
form of G. crinita, about a foot high, with fewer flowers, but 
of a richer, fuller azure tint. It is of the Fringed Gentian 
that the poet Bryant writes : 

" Thou blossom bright with Autumn dew, 
And colored with heaven's own blue, 
That openest when the quiet light 
Succeeds the keen and frosty night. 

143 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

" Thou comest not when violets lean 
O'er wandering brooks and springs unseen ; 
Thou waitest late, and comest alone 
When woods are bare and birds are flown, 
And frosts and shortening days portend 
The aged year is at an end. 

" Then doth thy sweet and quiet eye 
Look through its fringes to the sky ; 
Blue, blue as if the sky let fall 
A flower from its cerulean wall." 

But, bewildered among so many beauties, I have wandered 
away from my first love, the large dark -blue or open-belled 
Gentian, Q-entiana Saponaria (L.). The leaves of this 
species are somewhat clasping at the base and pointed at 
the end, at first green, but assuming a purplish-bronze hue; 
the smooth stem is also of a reddish purple, with the large 
open five-cleft dark -blue corollas terminal on the summit, 
generally three blossoms; between the axils of the leaves 
three or more somewhat smaller bells may be found at 
intervals clustered on the flower stem. The beautifully- 
folded deep purple buds are surrounded by the pointed 
bracts and leaves. 

This species is less marked than G. Andrewsii (Griseb) 
by the toothed appendages between the lobes of the flower; 
the absence of these plaited folds gives our plant a wider, 
more open flower, which renders it more attractive to the 
eye of the florist. 

There is something almost disappointing in the closed 
sac-like blossom of the 

CLOSED GENTIAN Gentiana Andrewsii (Griseb.). 

Lovely as it is, one would like to peep within the closed 
lips which so provokingly conceal the interior. The tips of 
the corolla are white, but the sac-like flower is of a full 



144 









PLATE XIV. 






1 Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea). P. 76. 







.VIX 3T AJ<! 



vail." 

But, be 
away from my firs large dark -blue or 

n.-m. <:f!'ntfti.iin tfujioii-aria i : 
species are somewhat chi.spin ad 

the end, at first green, bi 
the smooth stem is 
open five-Heft d 

rally tin 
thr<' .&\ / 

'->fo I 

the i*' te pin 

more open 
e\e of h 
There 
sac-like bloss- 












CLOSED < 






'-)' 

ain the clo 
p. The tip^ 

full 



PLATE XIV. 







NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

azure-blue, striped in some cases with a deeper color. There 
are often as many as five buds and blossoms clustered at the 
summit of the flower stem and in the axils of the deep green 
smooth and glossy leaves. 

On parting the lips of the closed corolla we see at the 
narrowed neck some toothed and sharply jagged appendages, 
which also may be observed in many others of the Gentians 
in greater or lesser degree. This handsome species is about 
eighteen inches high, with flowers more than an inch in 
length, and loves rich leaf-mould near water on rocky 
islands. 

FRINGED GENTIAN Gentiana crinita (Froel). 

Of the Fringed Gentians we boast three forms, all charm- 
ing and attractive, and it seems strange that such beautiful 
flowers should not have found their places long ere this in 
our gardens. The seeds would not be difficult to obtain from 
the tallest plant, 6r. crinita, as it blooms early enough to ripen 
its pods before the heat of the summer has entirely given 
place to frosts. 

I have generally found the tall Fringed Gentian on dry, 
rather gravelly soil and river banks. The buds of this 
flower are beautifully folded, almost twisted, and are ter- 
minal, growing singly on long foot stalks; the corollas 
rarely unfold fully; the plaited folds are inconspicuous or 
absent. The color of the flower of this tall species is light 
blue, and white at the base; the upper edges of the corollas 
are elegantly fringed and cut. Though taller, and the bells 
more abundant, the lower, deeper colored fringed varieties 
are more lovely. 

There is a bitter principle in the roots of most of the 
Gentians; especially is this strongly developed in the Five- 
flowered Gentian G. quinqueflora (Lam.). This bitter 

10 145 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

principle is one of the characteristics of the family, and 
probably our native plants might prove as valuable tonics 
as the foreign root were they tested. The Five-flowered 
Gentian is very unlike the bright and more showy blossomed 
species described above. The flowers, in fives, are narrow 
bells of a delicate pale lilac tint, clustered in the axils ol 
the narrow light-green leaves; the plant is found sometimes 
on dry, grassy banks, and in the angles of fences by the road- 
side. 

I have a specimen closely resembling the above species, 
sent from Iowa, the chief difference being that the tips of the 
slender flower-tubes are of a deep dark blue our Canadian 
flower being only slightly tinted with very pale lilac. I 
have never found any of the Gentians growing in the forest, 
though several species seem to flourish in partial shade in 
open thickets. 

With the Gentians I have brought to a close the floral 
season of the Canadian year. A few stragglers may yet be 
found amongst late Asters and Golden-rods, in sheltered 
glens and lonely hollows, but the glory of the year has 
departed gone with the last deep blue bell of the loveliest 
of her race, the Calathian Violet, the solitary flower of the 
Indian Summer. All that now remains for us is the bright 
frosted foliage of the dwarf oaks and the scarlet-tinged 
leaves of the low huckleberry bushes; the brilliant berries 
of the leafless Winterberry, Ilex verticillata (Gray), and the 
clustered garlands of the Climbing Bitter-Sweet, Celastrus 
scandens, which hang among the branches of the silver- 
barked birch and other forest trees, or near the margin of 
lake or stream; and the crimson fruit of the frost-touched 
High-bush Cranberry, Viburnum Opiilus while on dry, 
stony hills and rugged rocks the Bearberry covers with its 
creeping branches of dark green shining leaves and gay 

146 



NATIVE WILD FLOWERS 

scarlet fruit the scanty soil from which it springs. Let us 
prize them, for from henceforth till the tardy Spring revisits 
the earth its treasures of leaf and blossom will be to us as a 
sealed book bound up in ice and snow. No more are we 
tempted by verdant wreaths of glossy leaves or gaily tinted 
flowers. We must content ourselves with wintry landscapes, 
snowflakes and frost-flowers, and the crystal casing that 
covers the slender branches of the birches and beeches or 
hangs in diamond drops on the tassels of the spruces and 
balsam firs. 

Tread softly, traveller, lest the transient glory of our 
frost-flowers dissolve at your feet. Emblems are they of 
earthly beauty, earthly riches and earthly fame; but there 
are brighter gems and fairer flowers of heavenly growth that 
fade not away but which will flourish in the Paradise of 
God more glorious than the fairest beauties of our earthly 
home. 



147 



SECTION II. 



FLOWERING SHRUBS OF CENTRAL CANADA. 

" Hie to the haunts right seldom seen, 

Lovely, lonesome, cool and green. 

Hie away, hie away, 

Over bank, over brae, 

Hie away." 

Waverley. 

LEATHER WOOD MOOSEWOOD Dirca palustris (L.). 

THE Leatherwood or Moosewood is one of the very 
earliest of our native shrubs to blossom; little clusters of 
yellow funnel-shaped flowers appear on the naked smooth- 
barked branches early in April; three or more buds project 
from an involucre of as many scales covered thickly with 
soft brown downy hair. The leaves, which expand soon 
after the falling off of the flowers, are smooth, of a bright 
light green, oblong, entire, and placed alternately along the 
stems. This pretty, shrubby bush seldom exceeds five feet 
in height, but is often much lower. The bark is of a pale 
greenish-gray, very tough, and while fresh and young not 
easily broken ; it becomes more brittle when thoroughly 
dried, losing its useful pliant qualities. The bush settlers 
used the tough bark in its green state as a substitute for 
cordage in tying sacks and for similar purposes. This hardy 
shrub is, I believe, the only native representative in Canada 

148 



FLOWERING SHKUBS 

of the Mezereum family;* it has neither the fragrance nor 
the dark glossy foliage of the Daphne or Spurge Laurel of 
the English gardens; but, nevertheless, forms a pretty 
addition to our garden shrubberies, the early blossom, abun- 
dant foliage and light scarlet globular berries being very 
attractive. The New England people call the plant Moose- 
wood, in allusion to the hairy covering of the flower-buds ; 
the Canadians call it Leatherwood, and the Indian name 
for it is TVycopy, meaning a thong, on account of its tough 
leathery bark. The specific name, palustris, would imply 
that it was more particularly a marsh -loving plant; but the 
Leatherwood may be found frequently growing on dry, 
gravelly ground, and is by no means confined to wet, marshy 
soil. Dr. Gray says : " The name of a fountain near Thebes 
was applied by Linnaeus to this North American genus for 
no imaginable reason, unless because the bush frequently 
grows near mountain rivulets." 

This shrub is found all over the Eastern Provinces of 
the Dominion and has also a wide northerly range. I 
know of no especial uses, excepting the one already named, 
among the settlers in the backwoods and the Indians, who 
use the bark as loose handles for their bark baskets used in 

rough work. 

> 

FEVERBUSH SPICEBUSH Lindera Benzoin (Meisner). 

This highly fragrant shrub is commonly found growing in 
low, wet, marshy ground, and is sought for by the Indians 

* The beautiful Daphne Mezereum, shown on Plate XVI., is not a native of Canada, 
although it is occasionally found growing wild in the woods near towns. The seeds may 
possibly have been carried there by birds. Some kinds of finches are said to eat the 
showy scarlet berries notwithstanding their intense acridity. This shrub was brought 
to America from Europe, but is thought to be of Eastern origin. The Persians call it 
Madzaryoum, from which word its specific name is derived. The pretty rose-colored 
sweet-scented flowers are produced in abundance along the naked branches in early 
spring, before the smooth green leaves unfold, followed later in the summer by clusters 
of bright scarlet berries. J.F. 

149 i 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

for medicinal uses; the bark and twigs (for it is in these 
the aroma is contained), mingled with tobacco, form one of 
their luxuries. The spicy, sweet-scented wood long retains 
its flavor, even when dried, and is most agreeable. The bush 
is about four or five feet high ; the bark of the older branches 
is gray and smooth, but the young twigs and leafstalks are 
blackish. The flowers in this, as in Leatherwood, appear in 
umbel-like clusters in April, before the foliage is developed; 
the blossoms are yellow or honey-colored, the leaves entire, 
very smooth, darkish green, oblong and pale underneath. 
This shrub belongs to the Laurel tribe, and is nearly allied 
to the Sassafras. The natives make a fever drink of the 
twigs, besides chewing and smoking the bark. 

TRAILING ARBUTUS MAYFLOWER Epigcea repens (L.). 

(PLATE XVIII.) 

The fragrant, graceful Epigcea repens, the sweet May- 
flower of the Northern States and of our own Canada, is 
too lovely to be forgotten in these short floral biographies; 
indeed, this pretty trailing evergreen is well deserving of a 
place amongst the most cherished treasures of the con- 
servatory, for few exceed it in beauty and none in fragrance. 
It is to be found within the pine forests, beneath trees where 
but a scanty herbage flourishes, and on dry, sandy and 
rocky ground we see its evergreen shining ovate leaves and 
delicate pink flowers covering the ground during the month 
of May. The Americans know it by the name of Mayflower, 
BO called from its season of blossoming; in England it is a 
favorite greenhouse shrub, under the name of Trailing 
Arbutus. The leaves rise on long footstalks from the some- 
what horizontal branches, and are unequal in size, the 
largest being nearest to the summit; the leafstalks are 
clothed with clammy reddish-colored hairs, which contain 

ISO 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

an odorous guin ; the flowers are tubular, divided into five 
segments at the margin, in color varying from white to rosy- 
pink ; the inside of the long tube is beset with silvery hairs. 
The lovely waxy flowers are clustered at the summits of the 
creeping stems, and give out a delightful aromatic scent. 
The classical name of our pretty evergreen is derived from 
the Greek, and signifies " upon the earth," in allusion to its 
prostrate trailing habit. 

BEAKED HAZELNUT Corylus rostrata (Ait). 

The Beaked Hazelnut is a small bush, not more than three 
to four feet high; the leaves are large, oval, and coarse in 
texture, furrowed and dentate at the edge. The catkins 
appear in April; the light crimson tufted pistillate flowers 
in May. The nut is enveloped in a rough green involucral 
calyx, which is undivided and closely invests it; this rapidly 
diminishes in size above the nut, and is prolonged for about 
an inch; in shape it takes the form of a hawk's bill, whence 
the specific name rostrata, or beaked, is derived. 

The calyx is closely beset with short bristly hairs, which, 
pierce the fingers, producing an unpleasant irritation; 
especially is this felt when the fruit is ripe and the envelop- 
ing case is withered and dry. The nut is sweet and well- 
flavored, and resembles the common Filbert more than the 
wild Hazelnut of England. The bush seems to affect dry 
open ground and copse woods. 'There is another native 
species, the 

AMERICAN HAZELNUT Corylus Americana (Walt.). 

This is a much taller bush, found chiefly in damp thickets, 
the long slender wand-like nut-brown branches springing 
from a thickened rootstock or stool, and reaching to a 

151 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

height of ten to fifteen feet in damp localities. The sweet 
nut is round and thick shelled, the involucral calyx spread- 
ing at the tips and more open than in the former species. 
The foliage is round, somewhat cordate, or heart-shaped, 
coarsely pointed and serrated. The flowers, which are of 
two kinds in this genus, come successively before the unfold- 
ing of the leaves. The two species are very distinct in their 
appearance and character, the Beaked Hazelnut bearing 
more likeness to the Filbert, while the present species re- 
sembles the common Hazelnut. 

The classical name, Gorylus, is derived from a Greek word 
signifying a helmet, from the shape of the calyx. 

KED-BERRIED ELDER Sambucus pubens (Michx.). 

The red-fruited Elder is often confounded by ignorant 
persons with the Rhus Toxicodendron, to which the names 
of Poison Elder, Poison Oak, and Poison Ivy have been 
given, thus transferring the evil qualities of the poisonous 
Rhus to a perfectly harmless shrubby tree, which deserves 
to be redeemed from such slanders. The Ked-berried Elder 
is widely distributed over the Dominion of Canada. 

In every waste place, on old neglected fallows which 
have been subjected to the ravages of fire, in corners of 
fences, and even in gardens, if care be not taken to ruth- 
lessly root out the intruder, this hardy native may be found. 
The panicles of greenish-white flowers may be seen in the 
month of May, among black and burnt stumps and girdled 
pines, enlivening the coarse verdure of the dull-green 
pinnated leaves and gray warty branches; the flowers of 
this species, as well as those of the Black-berried Elder, 
8. Canadensis (L.), emit a faint but sickly odor. The 
flowers of the latter species are whiter, borne in much larger 
and flatter cymes, and do not appear until June. 

152 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

The embryo blossoms of the Red Elder are formed soon 
after the fall of the leaf in October, and may be distinctly 
seen in the large globular buds which adorn the bare 
branches in winter; they are closely packed within the 
protecting cases, like hard-green seeds, each flower-bud per- 
fect, as if ready to unfold in the first warm sunshine, but 
not so, for the embryo flower must lie dormant in its cradle 
till the next spring, when the warmth of the May sunshine 
opens it out to life and light. The blossoms- are succeeded 
by an abundance of small berries, which, during the month 
of June, ripen and adorn the landscape with their brilliant 
scarlet hues. The juice of the ripe fruit is a thin acid, 
slightly partaking of the peculiar flavor of the wood, not 
agreeable but perfectly wholesome. The gay berries are a 
favorite food with wild birds, which soon strip the trees of 
their ornamental clusters. 

TWIN-FLOWERED HONEYSUCKLE Lonicera ciliata (Muhl.). 

Though we have not in Canada the sweet-scented and 
graceful Woodbine of the bowery English lanes and hedge- 
rows the theme of many a poet's lay, from Shakespeare 
and Milton down to Bloomfield and Clare yet we have some 
charming flowering shrubs that are too lovely to be dis- 
regarded by the lover of Nature. Among our wild native 
species there is not one more elegant than the Twin-flowered 
Honeysuckle, or Bush Honeysuckle. It is one of the earliest 
of our shrubs to unfold its tender light-green leaves. A few 
warm days in April if the season be mild and we may 
perceive the slender sprays assuming a welcome tint of 
verdure, the glad promise of spring. 

The ovate leaves, of pale green, are delicately fringed with 
silken hairs, at first of a slight purplish tint. The flowers 
appear in pairs, connected twin-like from the axils of the 

153 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

leaves; in color something between a pale primrose and 
greenish-white, often tinged with purple. The elegant droop- 
ing bells are divided at the edge of the corolla into five 
pointed segments, slightly turned outward, showing five 
stamens and one style, which projects a little beyond the 
funnel-shaped flower. These graceful flowers, united at the 
ovary, hang beneath the leaves on slender thready pedicels 
so slight that the least breath of air swings their light 
fairy bells. One might almost be tempted to listen for some 
sweet music to issue from their hollow tubes. The twin 
berries, when ripe, are of a semi-transparent ruby-red, but, 
like the fruit of all the genus, they are tasteless or of a 
sickly sweet flavor. They form a feast for birds and 
numerous species of flies, which feed upon the pulp and 
juice. The country people give the name of " Fly Honey- 
suckle " to this shrub doubtless from having noticed how 
attractive the fruit is to the insect tribes. 

The Bush Honeysuckle thrives well in the garden under 
a moderate degree of shade, and in black vegetable mould.* 

The general habit of this shrubby Honeysuckle is up- 
right, not climbing; the branchlets are slender, with a pale 
grayish-green bark, and bent outwards, which gives a light 
and graceful aspect to the bush. The juicy crimson berries 
are oblong, united at the base, and contain several yellowish 
bony seeds. 

SMALL-FLOWERED HONEYSUCKLE Lonicera parviflora 

(Lam.). 

This pretty clustered trumpet Honeysuckle is also a native 
of our Canadian woods; a climber, but not often ascending 
to any great height, sometimes low and bush-like. It might 
be termed a dwarf climbing Honeysuckle. The flowers are 

* It is claimed to be a valuable remedy in cases of dropsy. 

154 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

showy and clustered in loose terminal heads ; the tube is very 
slender, and the segments of the corolla are narrowly pointed. 

This shrub seems to accommodate itself to circumstances, 
as it does not attempt to climb when transplanted to open 
ground, but forms a compact bush. 

The abundance of its pale red and yellow flowers, in light 
graceful clusters and bluish-green foliage, make it a pretty 
ornament to the garden, to which it takes kindly when trans- 
planted; the only disadvantages are the evanescence of its 
blossoms and its brief flowering season. The berries, how- 
ever, are abundant, and are of a pretty light reddish-orange 
color. 

HAIRY YELLOW-FLOWERED HONEYSUCKLE Lonicera hirsuta 

(Eaton). 

This is a large, robust species; the leaves are large, ovate, 
and downy underneath, the upper pair perfoliate, forming 
a boat-shaped involucre to the large hairy honey-colored 
clusters of flowers, which are terminal. The stem of this 
rather handsome but coarse species is woody, branching and 
slightly twining; the hairy yellow trumpet-shaped flowers 
exude a clammy sweet dew, which attracts numbers of flies 
which hover about them with those honey-loving vagrants 
the Humming-birds. This species is chiefly found in open 
copses and on rocky islands. There are several other native 
Honeysuckles. 

Closely allied to the Loniceras is a pretty flowering shrub 
known as 

FALSE HONEYSUCKLE Diervilla trifida (Mcench). 

This shrub is often found on upturned roots in the forest, 
but it also flourishes in more airy situations, as the edge of 
open, cleared ground, in the corners of rail fences, where it 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

has access to sunlight and freer air. It seldom grows higher 
than two or three feet, forming a low leafy bush, the leaves 
oblong, slightly toothed, in opposite pairs; the branches are 
covered with a smooth red bark; the footstalks of the leaves 
are also red, the flowers funnel-shaped, the slender corolla 
divided into five lobes, the lower lip trifid. The flowers, on 
slender peduncles, mostly in threes, spring from the axils of 
the leaves. The small seeds are contained in a hard two- 
celled, two-valved woody pod. The color of the flowers 
varies from straw-color to tawny yellow. Under cultivation 
the Diervilla increases in size and abundance of the flowers; 
it is very hardy and will thrive in sunnier spots than the 
more delicate Twin-flowered Honeysuckle, which requires 
shade. 


SNOWRERRY Symphoricarpus racemosus ( Michx. ) . 

Everyone is familiar with that pretty, ornamental garden 
shrub, the Snowberry, so often seen in English shrubberies, 
as well as in our Canadian gardens ; but every admirer of it 
does not know that it is a native of the Dominion and may 
be found growing in uncultivated luxuriance on the banks 
of streams and inland waters, on the rocky banks of rapid 
rivers and lonely lakes, whose surface has never been ruffled 
by the keel of the white man's boat, spots known only to the 
Indian hunter or the adventurous fur-trapper. There, bend- 
ing its flexile branches to kiss the surface of the still waters, 
its pure white waxen berries may be seen, looking as if some 
cunning hand for very sport had moulded them from virgin 
wax and hung them among the dark green foliage. 

The blossoms of the Snowberry are small red and white 
bells, in clustered loose heads along the ends of the light, 
flexible sprays; during the flowering season the branches 

156 



FLOWERING SHKUBS 

are upright, but they droop downward in Autumn from the 
weight of the large round snow-white berries. The brown 
bony seeds lie embedded in the granular cellular pulp. 
Though quite innocuous, the fruit is insipid and more useful 
for ornament than for any other purpose, as far as man is 
concerned, but forms a bountiful supply of food to many of 
the birds that remain with us late in the Autumn. The 
plant multiplies by suckers from the roots and by seeds. 
The leaves are small, oval, slightly toothed, of a dull, dark 
bluish-green. This shrub is a native of all the Northern States 
of America, extending northward and westward in Canada. 
It belongs to the same natural order as the Honeysuckle, that 
lovely creeping plant the Twin-flower, and the Elders. 

SWEET-FERN Comptonia asplenifolia (Ait.). 

The popular name by which this shrub is known among 
Canadians Sweet-fern is improperly applied, and leads to 
the erroneous impression that the plant is a species of Fern. 
It is a member of the Sweet-gale family and belongs to the 
Natural Order Myricacece. 

The Sweet-fern grows chiefly on light loam or sandy soil, 
in open dry uplands, and on wastes by roadsides, forming 
low thickets of small, weak, straggling bushes, which give 
out a delicious aromatic scent somewhat like the flavor of 
freshly grated nutmegs; but the smell is evanescent, and 
soon evaporates when the leaves have been gathered for any 
length of time. The twig-like branches are of a fine reddish 
color; the leaves are long, very narrow, and deeply in- 
dented in alternate rounded notches, resembling some of the 
Aspleniums in outline, whence the specific name. The 
flowers are of two kinds: the sterile in cylindrical catkins, 
with scale-like bracts, and the fertile in bur-like heads. 

157 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

SWEET-GALE Myrica Gale (L.). 

This sweet-scented low shrub may be found bordering the 
rocky shores of our inland Northern lakes in great abun- 
dance, and may be readily recognized by its bluish dull- 
green leaves and the fine scent of the plant. The leaves 
when stirred or crushed give out a fine aroma resembling 
that of the Sweet-fern, Comptonia asplenifolia, but of higher 
flavor. The sterile catkins, closely clustered, appear 
before the leaves; the seed is contained in rough scaly 
heads; the leaves are toothed at the edges, broader at the 
upper end and narrowing at the base. The whole bush 
scarcely exceeds four feet in height, but throws out many 
small branches, forming a close hedge-like thicket near 
the margins of lakes and ponds, those lonely inland waters, 
where, undisturbed for ages, it has flourished and sent forth 
its sweetness on the desert air " just for itself and God." 
Yet the qualities of this shrub have not been quite over- 
looked by the native Indians and by some of the old inhabi- 
tants of the back country, who use the leaves in home-made 
diet drinks and in infusions for purifying the blood. 

As the luxuries of civilization creep in among the settlers, 
they abandon the uses of many of the medicinal herbs that 
formerly supplied the place of drugs from stores. The old 
simplers and herbalists are a cult now nearly extinct. I 
am inclined to agree with a statement I once heard, to the 
effect that hot stoves and doctors' drugs have fostered or 
introduced many of the diseases that carry our young people 
to an early grave and have rendered the old ones prema- 
turely infirm. 

NEW JERSEY TEA REDROOT Ceanothus Americanus (L.). 

There is an historical interest attached to the name of 
this very attractive shrub which still lingers in the memories 
of the descendants of the U. E. Loyalists in Canada and in 

158 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

the State of New Jersey, where the leaves of the Ceanothus 
were first adopted as a substitute for the Chinese Tea-plant. 
Even to this day Americans will cross to Ontario in summer 
to gather quantities of the leaves to carry back from our 
plains, where it is found in great abundance. And while 
they commend the virtues of the plant, they, no doubt, 
recount the tales of Avar, trouble and privation endured in 
the old struggle waged by their grandfathers and great- 
grandfathers for independence, when, casting away the more 
costly tea, they had recourse to a humble native shrub to 
supply a luxury that was even then felt as a want and a 
necessity in their homes. 

The leaf of the New Jersey Tea resembles that of the 
Chinese very much, and if it wants the peculiarly fragrant 
flavor that we prize so highly in the genuine article, yet it is 
perfectly wholesome, and if prepared by heat in a similar 
way might approach more nearly to the qualities of the 
foreign article. Indeed, we are not sure but that it really 
does form one of the many adulterations that are mixed up 
with the teas of commerce for which we are content to pay 
so highly. Many years ago I was applied to by persons in 
Liverpool to supply their firm with large quantities of the 
leaves, no doubt for the purpose of adulterating the foreign 
teas in which they dealt. Of course, the proposal was 
declined. 

An old friend, one of the sons of a U. E. Loyalist, told me 
that for some years after leaving the United States (the 
family were from Vermont), the genuine Chinese Tea was 
rarely to be met with in the houses of the settlers, especially 
with such as lived in lonely backwoods settlements, that for 
the most part they made use of infusions of the leaves of the 
Redroot, or New Jersey Tea, as they had learned to call it, 
of Labrador Tea (Ledum latifolium), Sweet- fern (Comptonia 
aspleni folia) , Mountain Mint or other aromatic herbs, or 

159 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

even of the sprigs of the hemlock spruce. Many of the old 
folks still retain a liking for the teas made from the wild 
herbs, and use them as diet-drinks in the spring- of the year 
with great benefit to their health. 

The light feathery clusters of minute white flowers of the 
Ceanothus have a charming appearance among the dark 
green foliage, and adorn the hills and valleys of the grassy 
Canadian plain lands. Where the soil is light loam the 
shrubs are lower; the flowers also are somewhat smaller, 
but very abundant, and give out a faint sweet odor. In 
damper, more shaded spots, the flower clusters are larger 
and are borne on long footstalks. The leaves of the shrub 
are ovate, oblong, ribbed, and toothed at the edges. The 
root is of a deep red color, astringent and used medicinally. 

The flavor of the leaves is slightly bitter and aromatic. 
I consider this pretty Ceanothus to be one of the most orna-, 
mental of our native flowering shrubs, and well worthy 
o'f introduction into our gardens. Abundant clusters of 
delicate white flowers, that cover the bush during the 
months of July and August, have the appearance, at a little 
distance, of the froth of new milk. The flowers are slender, 
the petals hooded, spreading, on slender claws longer than 
the calyx, which is five-lobed, colored like the petals. The 
seed-vessel is three-lobed, splitting into three parts when 
dry; the seed is round, hard and berry-like. The branches 
and woody stems wither and die down in autumn, to be 
replaced by new shoots in the ensuing spring. In height 
the shrub varies from two to five feet. 

WILD SMOOTH GOOSEBERRY Ribes oxyacanthoides (L.). 

Our woods and swamps abound with varieties of the 
widely diffused Gooseberry and Currant family, and though 
at present neglected and despised, they, no doubt, could, by 

160 








PLATE XV. 



>weet Scented Water-Lily (Nymphaea odorata). P. 86. 
2. Ydlow Pond Lily (Nuphar advena). P. 90. 




of 5 



great benefit ( 
Tlie light feathery clu 
Ceanothus have a 

-u the hills 

Canadian plain lands.' V lie soil 

shrubs are 3ow - also a 

but very abundant, 
damper, more shaded spots, the fiov 
and are borne on long foo< 
are ovate, oblong, rv =<i rooti 

root is of a deep red cy 

The flavor of y^ gjAjq 

I con^i' 

.d8 .^ .(jsJjBiobo AssfiqmyM) ^kJ^isJjsW bs^nao^ Jsw2 J 
.09 5 .(wsvbjB usHquH) yliJ bnol wolbY . 



the 



dry; the KH 
and woodv 






. 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

proper treatment, be made valuable and serviceable to man. 
Of the Wild Gooseberry there are several kinds, the best and 
most palatable being the smooth-skinned, small purple 
Gooseberry, Ribes oxyacanthoides ; this is the least thorny 
of the genus, and by cultivation can be rendered a nice and 
serviceable fruit for preserving and other table uses. 

This shrub grows in low ground or on the borders of 
beaver meadows and damp thickets, and seems to be found 
in every part of the Dominion. The bush is low, not more 
than from three to four feet in height, or less, with not very 
prickly stems, and with smooth berries, generally in pairs; 
the calyx of the flower is purplish and the fruit when ripe is 
of a dark purple color; the leaves are smooth and shining, 
and pale beneath. 

THORNBERRY PRICKLY GOOSEBERRY Ribes Cynosbati (L.). 

The fruit of this Wild Gooseberry is perfectly rough and 
spiny and is troublesome to gather, but in old times it was 
sought for by the settlers in the backwoods as a welcome 
addition to their scanty fare. By scalding and rubbing the 
berries in a coarse cloth much of the roughness was removed ; 
in their green state the berries were used in the form of pies 
and puddings, or, when softened, mixed with sugar and milk. 
When ripe they were made into preserves, but the harshness 
of the bristly skin was not very easily overcome, especially 
if the fruit was over-ripe. Still it was one of the cheap 
luxuries that found a welcome place at the shanty table. 
This is a tall bush from four to six feet in height, growing 
in dry rocky woods, and bearing a profusion of greenish 
bells, in the month of May, from one to three on each slender 
pedicel. 

Another of our native Gooseberries, not so wholesome nor 
TSO useful, is the 

11 161 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

SMALL SWAMP GOOSEBERRY Ribes lacustre (Poir.). 

Very pretty in flower, but very bristly, and the fruit small, 
not larger than peas, in slender racemes, of a purplish color 
and unpleasant flavor. The blossoms are pink and hang in 
graceful bunches on the weak and very prickly branches. 
This small bristly species resembles the 

TRAILING HAIRY CURRANT Ribes prostratum (L'Her.). 

This is the least desirable of the Currant family, being far 
from wholesome. The whole plant is weak and reclining on 
the ground, often rooting from the joints. The leaves are 
rather large, smooth and five-to-seven lobed. The small 
round very pale red berries are hairy, glandular, and of a 
very unpleasant taste and odor. I have known persons 
made very ill by eating tarts made of the Hairy Currants. 
It is easily distinguished by its trailing habit and hairy 
berries and erect racemes of flowers. I have found it chiefly 
growing in low lands and thickets, near swamps. 

A larger bush, and of common occurrence in swampy 
ground, is the 

WILD BLACK CURRANT R. floridum (L.). 
When in blossom this Wild Black Currant is an orna- 
mental object. The flowers, of a pale greenish-yellow, are 
larger than the common garden species, and droop in long 
graceful flowery racemes from the branches. The leaves are 
of a grayish-green, sharply lobed ; the bark gray and smooth ; 
berries very dark red, deepening when ripe to blackish- 
purple; they are large and somewhat pear-shaped, in flavor 
not unlike the garden fruit. I should think it possessed of 
a narcotic quality ; certainly it is not very agreeable, though 
some people like it, and it is extensively used as a preserve. 
The bush takes kindly to cultivation but is, I think, more 
ornamental than useful. 

162 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

WILD RED CURRANT Ribes rubrum (L.). 

This is said to be identical with our cultivated Garden 
Currant. In its wild state the fruit is small, very acid, and 
not unpalatable or unwholesome, but has a flavor of the 
astringent bark. This woody taste is common to many of 
our fruits in their natural state, but seems to be much 
reduced by care and cultivation. 

JUNE-BERRY SHADBUSH Amelanchier Canadensis 
(T. & G.). 

The June-berries are not very ornamental shrubs, but 
their fruit is quite pleasant and wholesome, especially when 
mixed with acid berries, such as currants and cherries. 
The tallest of the genus is the Shadbush, which is so called 
from the flowers appearing when the shadflies first rise from 
the water in the month of May. 

The elegant white flowers of this pretty tree (for it rises' 
to the height of twenty feet) adorn the banks of our rivers 
and lakes and enliven the surrounding woods, breaking the 
monotony of their verdure by the contrast of the snow-white 
pendent buds and blossoms. The branches of the Shadbush 
are somewhat straggling; the leaves of a bluish -green, ovate.-* 
and serrated, white underneath; at first they are of a red- 
dish-bronze, but they take a bright tint of green when 
more mature. The flowers are on slender footstalks, the - 
petals narrow and wavy. The calyx remains persistent, as; 
in the pear and apple. The fruit is of a dark red, sweet 
and pleasant. This tree loves gravelly banks and may;/ 
usually be found near rivers. It is the tallest of the June- 
berries ; it thrives well under garden culture and is a pretty 
object when in flower, but not so much so as the next 
variety, Amelanchier Canadensis, var. oblongifolia, which is. 
a tall, upright, slenderly-branched pyramidal bush, rarely 

163 



STUDIES OP PLANT LIFE 

exceeding twelve or fifteen feet in height ; it is very sym- 
metrical in its growth, forming a fine compact pyramid, 
covered early in the month of May with an abundance of 
crowded racemes of elegant white flowers, sometimes tinged 
with pink; the blossoms come somewhat before the tender 
silken leaf-buds unfold. The foliage is delicately and 
sharply cut at the margins of the thin ovate oblong leaves, 
which are soft, silky and folded together. The fruit of this 
pretty June-berry is small ; when ripe it is of a pink or rose 
color, sweet and juicy, but somewhat insipid ; not so nice as 
another form which is known in some places by the name of 
" Sheepberry."* This forms a handsome bush about ten feet 
high, the flower and fruit larger than the former, the berries 
dark red, almost purple when ripe in July, with a pleasant 
nutty flavor. Open thickets on the sides of ravines on the 
Kice Lake plains were favorite localities for the Sheepberry. 
Another dwarf June-berry, not more than five or six feet 
high or less, grows in the sandy flats on these same plains. 
This is a pretty, low shrub with greenish-white racemes of 
flowers and oval leaves; fruit dark purplish-red and sweet, 
but the berries are small, not larger than currants; the 
bark of the branchlets of this little June-berry is dark red, 
and the leaves are very downy underneath ; the fruit is ripe 
in July and August, about the same time as the Huckle- 
.berries. 

DWARF CHERRY SAND CHERRY Prunus pumila (L.). 

The Dwarf Cherry, more commonly known as Sand 
Cherry, is chiefly found on light sandy lands; it is a low 
bushy shrub, from eighteen inches to two feet in height; 
the slender branches are inclined to trail upon the ground, 
sometimes rooting; the centre stem is more upright. This 

* This is a local name ; the name ' ' Sheepberry " properly belongs to Viburnum Lentago. 

164 



FLOWERING SHKUBS 

little cherry has a pretty appearance when covered with the 
clusters of small white almond-scented blossoms, which on 
short slender footstalks spring, in twos or fours, from the 
base of the small pale-green leaves that clothe the reddish- 
barked branches; the fruit, not exceeding the size of a 
common pea, is purplish-red, without bloom on the surface. 
The Sand Cherry abounds on light plain-lands; it is the 
smallest of the wild Cherries and is far more palatable than 
the fruit of some of the larger trees of the genus. In flavor 
it partakes more of the nature of the Damson or Plum. 
Possibly under cultivation the fruit might be greatly im- 
proved in size and quality; and the plant is so pretty an 
object, whether in flower or fruit, that it would repay the 
trouble of cultivation in the garden as an ornamental dwarf 
shrub. So eagerly is the fruit sought for by the pigeons and 
partridges that it is difficult to obtain any quantity even in 
its most favored localities. 

CHOKE-CHERRY Prunus Virginiana (L.). 

Very tempting to the eye, when fully ripe, is the dark-crim- 
son, semi-transparent fruit of the Choke-cherry, and not 
unpalatable, but so very astringent that it causes a painful 
contraction of the throat if many berries are eaten at one 
time, though some persons are not much affected by them 
and will take them freely without any ill consequences. 
The bush is from eight to ten feet high, flowering abundantly 
and forming a pretty object from the profusion of long 
graceful pendulous racemes of greenish-white, which have 
an almond-like scent when fully blown. The leaves also have 
a pleasant aromatic, bitter flavor like those of the peach 
and almond, and form a good flavoring, resembling ratafia; 
when boiled in milk for puddings and custards one or two 

165 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

are sufficient, and may be removed when the milk has boiled. 
This flavoring is harmless and pleasant and easily obtained. 
The Choke-cherry never reaches to the dignity of a tree, 
like the Wild Black and Wild Ked Cherry of the woods, 
but forms a pretty flowery shrub of straggling growth. It 
blossoms in June and ripens the fruit in August. In respect 
>of both flower and fruit it is very ornamental, and may be 
introduced with advantage to the shrubbery but so tempt- 
ing are the ripe berries to the smaller fruit-loving birds that 
it is soon stripped of its rich crimson load of pendent fruit. 
The cedar or cherry-birds are sure to find out the bush and 
visit it in flocks till they strip it entirely, leaving the ground 
below strewed with the berries that have been shaken off; 
possibly the ground-squirrels and field-mice thus come in for 
a share of the spoils. 

PRICKLY ASH Xantlioxylum Americanum (Mill.). 

This is a handsome shrub with glossy pinnate leaves, the 
valuable qualities of which are hardly sufficiently known 
and appreciated by those who know it only for its orna- 
mental appearance, when the crimson cases that envelop the 
black shining seeds appear in clusters between the bright 
green leaves. The leaflets are in five pairs, with one ter- 
minal, from an inch to two inches in length, serrated at the 
edges, pointed, of a lively bright green, very glossy on the 
surface; the stem and branches straight, covered with whit- 
ish-gray bark ; the branches set with stout woody prickles, 
which also extend along the mid-rib on the underside of the 
leaves. The flowers are yellowish-green, in close set clusters, 
appearing before the leaves. The fruit is a round hard shin- 
ing bead-like berry, on a little thready stalk, two in each pod, 
at first a bronzed green, deepening to deep crimson when ripe, 

166 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

opening and shewing the dark glossy seeds. The whole plant 
is highly aromatic, especially the cases that enclose the seeds, 
which, when rubbed between the fingers, emit a strong 
pungent odor like the scent of orange-peel. 

The root, bark, leaves, and fruit are bitter, pungent and 
aromatic. The root and bark are used in dyeing yellow; 
they are also used medicinally in extract for agues and 
intermittent fevers. 

Though its most usual locality is on the banks of streams 
and in low wettish ground, it will also thrive and increase 
rapidly on dry soil, and on account of its stout woody stem 
it seems well suited for hedges. The Prickly Ash will grow 
both from seed and by shoots sent up from the roots. The 
fruit is ripe in August and September. The dry seed-pods 
are in great request by smokers, who mix them with tobacco 
and regard the fine spicy scent as a great luxury when they 
can obtain the berries from the Indians. 

The following valuable remarks on the medicinal uses of 
this interesting shrub were copied for me by my late, much 
valued friend, Dr. Low, of Bowmanville, from an article in 
the Journal of Materia Hedica, No. XII., December, 1859, 
by Dr. Charles Lee, on the Medicinal Plants of I^orth 
America : 

" The ' Prickly Ash ' is known also by the name of 
' Yellow wood.' The bark contains a fixed volatile oil, resin- 
ous coloring matter, gum and a crystallizable substance. The 
berries contain a large amount of oil, one pound yielding 
four fluid ounces when treated with alcoholic ether. The 
Prickly Ash is employed as a remedy for affections of the 
spine, marrow, 1 and vascular system. The active properties 
consist of an ethereal oil, like oil of turpentine; it is 
decidedly stimulant in languid cases of the nervous system. 

" In Asiatic cholera, during the years 1848-50, it was used 

167 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

with great success by American physicians in Cincinnati : it 
acted like electricity, so sudden and diffusive was the effect 
on the system. 

" In the summer complaint of young children it is also 
used with great success. The following is an excellent 
receipt for that disease among children : 

" Rhubarb-root, Colombo cinnamon of each 1 drachm ; 
Prickly Ash berries, 3 drachms; good brandy, half a pint. 
Add the bruised articles to the brandy, shaking them occa- 
sionally for three or four days. The dose for a child of two 
years old is a teaspoonful thrice a day in sweetened water. 
Where any swelling of the body is apparent, equal parts of 
the tincture of Prickly Ash berries and olive oil is of great 
use rubbed in over the abdomen. In typhus and typhoid 
fevers the value of this tincture is very great. A teaspoonful 
diluted with water may be given, in cases of great depression 
and prostration, every twenty minutes; it is also used most 
successfully in chronic rheumatism." 

I make no apology for introducing the above, thinking it 
may prove a valuable receipt. 

Another of our lovely creeping forest evergreens is the 

CREEPING SNOWBERRY Chiogenes hispidula (T. & G.). 

This interesting little plant forms beds in the spongy soil 
of the damp cedar swamps, spreading its matted trailing 
branchlets over the mossy trunks of fallen trees. The foliage 
is dark green, very small, and myrtle-like in texture, hard 
and glossy. The flowers, which are solitary in the axils of 
the leaves, are not very showy; they are bell-shaped and 
four-cleft at the margin, greenish-white in color. The berry 
is pure white and waxy, and lying in the deep green mat of 
tiny evergreen leaves has a charming effect. 

168 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

Chiogenes hispidula belongs to the Heath family and 
grows in cool peat bogs and mossy mountain woods, in the 
shade of evergreens; the whole plant has the aromatic 
flavor of the Teaberry or Aromatic Wintergreen, Gaultheria 
procumbens. 

HUCKLEBERRIES BLUEBERRIES. 

Several varieties of this useful and agreeable fruit are 
spread all over the country, even to the farthest northern 
and eastern portions of the now widely extended Dominion. 
Many of the species are hardy and will bear the severity of 
almost Polar cold, and will flourish in the poorest soil. 
The commonest to be met with are the large Blueberries, 
Vaccinium Pennsylvanicum, V. Canadense and V. corym- 
bosum, which abound in the oak-openings, in swamps, and 
on the stony islands of our back lakes. 

DWARF BLUEBERRY Vaccinium Pennsylvanicum (Lam.), 

is the earliest to ripen its large sweet berries. The flowers, 
which are delicate waxy bells, appear early in May and with 
the young leaves are pinkish in color. The leaves are 
lanceolate, with serrated margins, smooth and shining on 
both sides. The berry is ripe early in July, and is the 
earliest Blueberry brought to the market. 

This is a low bush, one to two feet high, found growing in 
woods and on the borders of swamps. 

CANADA BLUEBERRY Vaccinium Canadense (Kalm.), 

is a low shrub with downy branches and leaves, very similar 
to the above but generally smaller and with shorter greenish 
flowers, striped with red; the leaves are not serrated at the 
margin, and the fruit is not quite so early. It generally 
grows in damper situations. 

169 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 
SWAMP BLUEBERRY Vaccinium corymbosum (L.). 

This is a large handsome shrub, from five to eight feet high, 
found in many varieties growing in swamps. The corolla is 
larger than either of the above and of a purer white. The 
leaves are ovate and entire, and slightly pubescent. The rich 
berries begin to ripen in August, and are the latest of the 
season. 

These pretty shrubs, laden with their luscious berries, may 
be found on all dry open places. The poor Indian squaw 
fills her bark baskets with the fruit and brings them to the vil- 
lages to trade for flour, tea, and calico, while social parties of 
the settlers used to go forth annually to gather the fruit for 
preserving, or for the pleasure of spending a long summer's 
day among the romantic hills and valleys, roaming in un- 
restrained freedom among the wild flowers scattered in such 
rich profusion over those open tracts of land where these 
useful berries grow. These rural parties would sometimes 
muster to the extent of fifty or even an hundred individuals, 
furnished with provisions and all the appliances for an 
extended picnic. 

Many years ago, when the beautiful Rice Lake plains lay 
an uncultivated wilderness of wild fruits and flowers, shaded 
by noble, wide-spreading oaks, silver birches and feathery 
pines, an event occurred that excited great interest in the 
neighborhood and for miles around, the excitement even 
penetrating to distant settlements on the Otonabee, then the 
border-land of civilization north of the Great Lakes. 

It was in the month of July, 1837, that a large party of 
friends and neighbors near Port Hope agreed to make a 
picnic party to gather huckleberries and pass a pleasant 
summer day on the Bice Lake plains. They made a large 
gathering in waggons and buggies and on horseback. Among 

170 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

the children belonging to the party was a little girl about 
seven years of age, a bright, engaging child. By some 
accident this little one got separated from her family among 
the bushes, and they, supposing that she had gone forward 
with some of their near neighbors and friends, started for 
home, feeling no uneasiness until it was discovered that little 
Jane was not among the returned party, and that no trace 
of her could be found. Then came the stunning conviction 
that the child was lost left alone to wander over that path- 
less wilderness in darkness and solitude, perhaps to fall an 
unresisting prey to the bear or the wolf, both of which 
animals at that distant period roamed the hills and ravines 
of those plains in numbers, unchecked by the rifle of the 
sportsman or the gun of the Indian hunter. 

A few cleared spots there were, but these were miles apart, 
and it was not likely that the timid child would find her way 
to any of the distant shanties, so that no reasonable hope of 
the child finding shelter for the night could be entertained. 
Under so sad a loss the distress of the bereaved parents may 
easily be imagined. Their agonizing suspense, their hopes 
and their fears, found a ready response in every kind and 
feeling heart. 

No sooner was it known that a young child was lost than 
hundreds of persons interested themselves in the discovery 
and restoration of little Jane Ayre. The people came from 
their farms; they poured out from towns and villages, from 
the borders of the forest; wherever the tale was told came 
men in waggons, on horseback and on foot, to scour the 
plains in every direction. The Indians, under their Chief, 
Pondash, came under promise of a liberal reward if they 
found the child. Day after day passed without tidings of 
the lost one. As night came on each party returned only to 

171 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

say the child was not found, and hope began to fade away 
in all hearts. It still lingered, however, in that of the father. 

It was now Thursday, and it was on the evening of the 
previous Saturday that the little girl had been lost. The 
chances were indeed remote that she would be found, or if 
found that she would be a living, breathing child. However, 
about noon that day a horseman was seen riding at full 
speed towards the farm, followed by a crowd that thronged 
the road. The lost child was found ! Alive or dead? There 
was a stop, a pause in the pulsation of the woe-worn heart 
of the mother. Could it be that after five days of famine 
and wandering, exposed to the rain and dews and the sun's 
hot rays, that she should behold her child alive once more? 
Yes, it was even so, and He who tempers the rough wind to 
the shorn lamb and shelters the unfledged nestling of the 
the wild birds had been her guard by night from the wild 
beasts and her shield by day from the elements. No harm 
had befallen the young wanderer save what naturally arose 
from exhaustion and fear in her unusual position. 

Each night she had lain down and, sheltered by a fallen 
pine tree, had slept as soundly as if on her own little bed 
at home. The first night a drenching thunder-shower had 
soaked her clothes, and she had lost her shoes in the grass 
and had not cared to seek for them. Her face was much 
sunburnt, and she said each day she had heard voices in the 
distance, but her fear of strangers, and especially of Indians, 
had made her conceal herself. One thing was remarkable 
hope and trust in her father had never deserted her young 
heart. She said she knew that he would never cease to look 
for her till she was found. It was with the hope of seeing 
that dear face that she came from her hiding-place and stood 
upon the log and looked about her and was fortunately 
discovered by one of the searchers, whom she knew by sight ; 

172 



PLATE XVI. 

















child v, 

chances were indeed remote that 

found that she WOP living, breathin 

about noon that day a b 

<] towards the farm, followed by a crov. 
the road. The lost child was found! Ai 
was a stop, a i the pulsation of tl 

of the mother. Could it be. that aft- 
and wandering, exposed to the i 
hot rays, that s : Id behold her child a'< 

Yes, it was even .so, and He pers the iy 

the i 
the wi 
beasts a 

had b<*f naturai 

from ( position. 

Each night sh< ?erod b; 

pine tre<\ huM 
at home. The 
soaked her clo 
and had not can 
sunburnt, ;= 9 

distance, b* 
had made her 

and trust in ' 
heart. Sh 
for her till she 
that dear f; she cai 

upon i' 



PLATE XVI. 




FLOWERING SHRUBS 

and then what a cry of joy arose, such as those wild plains 
had never echoed before, " The child ! The child !" It reached 
the father's ears, though distant far from the spot, and he 
scarcely believed, for joy, till she was placed warm and 
breathing in his arms. The crowd instinctively drew back 
for a space and left the father and child clasped in each 
other's arms. Many a manly cheek was wet that day when 
they saw the childish face, thin and wan as it was, nestling 
in the father's arms, her thin browned hands clasped about 
his neck as if no power on earth should part them again. 

Surely the father might have cried out in the fulness of 
his heart, " Rejoice with me, my friends, for this my lamb was 
lost and is found!" 

Years have passed away, and little Jane has long been a 
wife and happy mother, and, no doubt, has often told her 
children the tale of her adventure on the Rice Lake plains, 
and pointed them to the gracious Father in Heaven who 
kept her under the shadow of His wing during those days of 
danger and fear. 

The plains are now cultivated in every direction; the 
huckleberries are fast disappearing and will have to be 
sought for elsewhere. 

FROST GRAPE Vitis cordifolia (Mx.).* 

Those deep, embowering masses of foliage; those verdant 
draperies that fall in such graceful leafy curtains from 
branch to branch, roofing the dark, shady recesses of our 
wooded lakes and river banks ; those light feathery-clustered 
blossoms that hover like a misty cloud above the leafy mass, 
giving out a tender perfume as the breeze passes over them, 
like sweet Mignonette, those are our native vines, our Wild 
Grapes. 

*V. riparia (Miohx.) of Gray's Manual, sixth edition. 

173 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

Yon tall dead tree that stands above the river's brink is 
wreathed with a dense mantle of foliage not its own. The 
changing hues of the leaves, the deep purplish clusters of 
fruit, now partially seen, now hidden from the view, have 
given a life and beauty to that dead, unsightly tree. 

The ambitious parasite has climbed unchecked to the very 
topmost branch, and now flings down its luxuriant arms,, 
vainly endeavoring to clasp some distant bough ; but no, the 
distance is beyond its reach, and it must once more bend 
earthward or, in lieu of better support, entwine its flexible 
tendrils in a tangled network of twisted sprays, leafstalks, 
and embowering leaves and fruit. 

The fruit of the Frost Grape our northern grape-vine 
is small. The berries, round, blue or black, with little or 
no bloom, very acid, but edible when touched by the frost, 
and can be manufactured into a fine jelly and good wine of 
a deep color and high flavor. Whole islands in the Trent 
and Rice Lake are covered with a growth of this native 
Grape. There is not a lake in Canada but has its " Grape 
Island," and many persons cultivate the plants about their 
dwellings over light trellis work, under which circumstances 
they will yield an abundance of fruit. They are also very 
useful to conceal unsightly objects, such as outhouses. An 
old pine stump can be converted into an ornamental object 
by nailing cedar poles fastened at the top round it, and 
planting grape-vines about it, having first prepared a bed 
of good earth and large stones to bank the lower part; a 
few plants of the Wild Clematis intermixed with the Grape- 
vine, and a sprinkling of Morning Glories, make a lovely 
pyramid and convert a defect into a charming object during 
many months of the year. 

The Wild Grape seems to flourish best in its natural state 
near the water, but will grow and flourish well in gardens 

174 



FLOWEKING SHRUBS 

where it is given the support of a trellis, or in any suitable 
position where it can climb. I have even seen a dead tree 
specially planted for such a purpose. 

Fox GRAPE Vitis Labrusca (L.). 

This is the original of the cultivated Isabella Grape, which 
has long been introduced into our gardens and vineries as- 
worthy of the attention of fruit growers. 

The leaves of this species are very densely woolly, covered, 
especially when young, with tawny, silky hairs ; the fruit is. 
of a dark purple, of a musky flavor, whence its common 
name, Fox Grape. 

This Wild Grape is found on the shores of Lake Erie and 
to the westward. From the improvement made by cultiva- 
tion in the size and quality of the Wild Fox Grape we may 
perceive how much might possibly be done with others of 
our wild fruits, which when introduced into our gardens 
would have the advantage of hardiness beyond that of 
exotics in bearing the severity of our climate. It seems 
reasonable to suppose that plants that are indigenous to a 
country could, by due care, be brought to a state of higher 
perfection than when under a foreign sun and soil, and that 
the culture of wild plants would amply repay the cultivator. 
Attempts of this kind are rarely made or persevered in, so 
that the result is not often satisfactory; either the process 
is thought to be too slow, or we despise as common that 
which is within our reach, valuing that which is more costly 
above what is easily obtained, whilst we eagerly spend our 
money to obtain a foreign species, which may possibly have 
been originally taken from our native woods and wilds to a 
foreign country, there cherished and cared for, improved by 
cultivation, and returned to us increased in value. It would 
greatly enhance the pleasure of cultivation if we were our- 

175 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

selves able to show native flowers and shrubs and fruits 
rendered equal to the imported kinds by our own culture. 

We might compare these wild plants to the neglected 
children of our poorest classes. In the degradation arising 
from their uncared for state they become as moral weeds in 
the great garden of life, neglected and passed by, left to run 
wild, and shunned. But remove these children to a more 
genial atmosphere; let them be taught the value of their 
souls, for which so great a price was paid by their Redeemer; 
let them be clothed and fed and cared for, made to feel that 
they are not despised in the eyes of their fellow men; then 
their useful qualities brought into action, and their vices 
and evil passions controlled, like the wild plants they will 
rise in value, and beauty, and usefulness, becoming precious 
trees bearing fruit to the glory of Almighty God sought 
out and desired of all men. Who will cultivate and iuipro\e 
this garden of human growth? Must it continue a wilder- 
ness, rank and injurious, full of deadly poisons and unripe, 
crude and bitter fruits, while within it, choked and hidden 
from view, are the germs of usefulness, beauty, and happi- 
ness that only require the better soil, the fostering care and 
gladdening sunshine of Christian love and kindness to make 
them what their Creator would have them all to be? Truly 
" the harvest is great, but the husbandmen are few." 

Allusions to the grape-vine and vineyards are of fre- 
quent occurrence in Scripture. Many and beautiful are the 
pt^ssagos where the ancient Church is symbolized by the 
poetical figure of the vine and the vineyard. How touching 
is the appeal made by the prophet to the rebellious and 
idolatrous people in the fifth chapter of the book of Isaiah : 
" And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, 
judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What 
could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not 

176 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring 
forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?" 

Beautiful are the allusions made in the Song of Solomon 
in his invitation to the beloved to go forth to the garden he 
had planted. " The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and 
the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, 
my love, my fair one, and come away." 

" Let us get up early to the vineyards ; let us see if the 
vines flourish, whether the tender grapes appear." 

Probably the culture of the vine was among the earliest 
labors of the husbandman, and must have been of most 
ancient usage, the first work enjoined by the Almighty 
Creator when he placed man in the Garden of Eden which 
was most likely a large and fertile tract of country already 
enriched with every tree and herb and flower that would 
prove useful for the support of life and contribute to man's 
enjoyment. Adam was instructed by his Maker to till the 
ground and dress it and keep it. 

This employment was ordained for health and pleasure, 
not for toil or weariness. This last condition arose when 
sin had marred the fair beauty of God's world and the sin- 
smitten earth no longer yielded its spontaneous fertility as 
in the day when sinless man first stood in his innocence on 
the then unpolluted earth, a fearless being in the presence 
of a holy God. 

The vine, which might have formed a delightful portion 
of man's food in the Edenic garden, must from henceforth 
yield its luscious grapes only by care and labor. The wild 
vines must be pruned and trained and kept free from noxious 
weeds and hurtful insects; they were no longer the fruit 
of the Lord's vineyard. Who can tell but that our wild 
Canadian Frost and Fox Grapes may not be the degenerated 

12 177 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

seed of the wild vines of that land of the east into which 
Adam and Eve were banished? 

Travellers in Palestine still speak of the luxuriant grape- 
vines flinging their clusters of fruit and sweet-scented 
blossoms over the terraced steps of rocky ravines, filling 
the air with perfume; but the vines are all wild now and 
uncultivated. They want the careful hand of the vine- 
dresser and husbandman to train them type of the wasted 
inheritance of the ancient people and of a degenerated 
priesthood. 

Has the Christian Church no careless vine-dressers; are 
there no vines bringing forth wild grapes; no briars and 
thorns that come up to choke the Lord's vineyard, till it 
becomes an unfruitful wilderness? 

BLACK HAWTHORN PEAR THORN Cratcegus tomentosa 

(L.). 

Canada has many species of Hawthorn, but not the frag- 
rant flowering May of the English hedgerows, associated in 
the minds of Old Country people with the pleasant spring 
days and bowery lanes of their childhood, when, as old 
Herrick tells us, " Maids went maying." But even now in 
Merrie England the May-queen's reign is over, in spite of 
poets' songs. 

LAMENT FOB THE MAY-QUEEN. 

No maiden now with glowing brow 

Shall rise with early dawn, 
And bind her hair with chaplets rare 

Torn from the blossomed thorn. 

No lark shall spring on dewy wing 

Thy matin hymn to pour, 
No cuckoo's voice shall shout ' Rejoice ! ' 

For thou art Queen no more. 

178 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

Beneath thy flower-encircled wand 

No peasant trains advance ; 
No more they lead with sportive tread 

The merry, merry dance. 

The Violet blooms with modest grace 

Beneath her crest of leaves, 
The Primrose shows her paly face, 

Her wreaths the Woodbine weaves. 

The Cowslip bends her golden head, 

And Daisies deck the lea ; 
But ah, no more in grove or bower 

The Queen of May we'll see. 

Weep, weep, then, virgin Queen of May, 

Thy ancient reign is o'er ; 
Thy votaries now are lowly laid, 

And thou art Queen no more." 

The Pear Thorn is one of the finest of our native species, 
often rising to the height of from fifteen to twenty feet, with 
a stout rough-barked stem. When in flower it forms a fine 
ornament to our open woods and thickets, for it is not found 
in the depths of the forest; it haunts the open edges of 
woods, and more especially is found along the banks of 
rivers and creeks. The flowers are much larger, though less 
delicate in scent, than the English Hawthorn. The leaves 
are thick and tough, but smooth and shining, unequally 
toothed, ovate-oblong; thorns, long, sharp and slender. The 
white cup-shaped flowers with dark anthers grow in hand- 
some corymbs, many-flowered on the summits of the sprays. 
The fruit is large, round and of a bright scarlet or orange. 

SCARLET-FRUITED THORN Cratwgus coccinea (L.). 

is no less ornamental than the former, and also forms a fine 
high flowering bush ; the fruit is of a pleasant acid taste and 
of a fine bright scarlet ; the leaves are thin, partly lobed and 
sharply cut at the rounded margin. This thorn grows tall 

179 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

and slender in close thickets and shade, but seems to prefer 
open ground and plenty of sunshine, when it forms a lovely 
compact tree and flowers abundantly; the fruit is not so 
large as in the last species, and is of a deeper red color. 

The English White Thorn (Cratcegus oxyacantlia L.) in 
some situations grows beautifully, but is apt to dwindle and 
become mossy and gnarled in unsuitable places where it is 
neglected. 

I saw a most perfect specimen of the English White Thorn 
at Port Hope, on the lawn at the residence of C. Kirkhoffer, 
Esq., at the western side of the town; it was in full flower 
at the time, and formed one of the most beautiful objects I 
ever saw; it was worth going miles to look upon it and to 
inhale the sweetness of its abundant white blossoms. 

There appears to have been little attempt made to culti- 
vate our hawthorns as hedge plants, though one might 
naturally suppose that such would have been adopted in 
places where the difficulty and expense of obtaining rail 
timbers is now being sensibly felt by the farmer. The cedar 
and hemlock are largely used for garden enclosures. Why 
not try the hawthorn also? 

SMALL CRANBERRY Vaccinium Oxy coccus (L.). 

" There's not a flower but shews some touch, 
In freckle, freck or stain, 

Of His unrivalled pencil." 

Hemans. 

There is scarcely to be found a lovelier little plant than 
the common Marsh Cranberry. It is of a trailing habit, 
creeping along the ground, rooting at every joint, and send- 
ing up little leafy upright stems, from which spring long 
slender thready pedicels, each terminated by a delicate 
peach-blossom-tinted flower, nodding on the stalk so as to 
throw the narrow petals upward. The leaves are small, of 

180 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

a dark myrtle-green, revolute at the edges, whitish beneath, 
unequally distributed along the stem. The deep crimson 
smooth oval berries are collected by the squaws and sold at 
a high price in the fall of the year. 

There are extensive tracts of low sandy swampy flats in 
various portions of Canada, covered with a luxuriant growth 
of low Cranberries. These spots are known as Cranberry 
Marshes, and are generally overflowed during the spring; 
many interesting and rare plants are found in these marshes, 
with mosses and lichens not to be found elsewhere, low 
evergreens of the Heath family, and some rare plants belong- 
ing to the Orchidacese, such as the beautiful Grass Pink 
(Calopogon pulchellus) and Calypso borealis. 

Not only is the fruit of the Low-bush Cranberry in great 
esteem for tarts and preserves, but it is thought to possess 
valuable medicinal properties, having been long used in can 
cerous affections as an outward application. The berries in 
their uncooked state are acid and powerfully astringent. 

There are two species of these low-growing Cranberries 
found in our peat-bogs and swamps, one larger in all its 
parts than the other, with the berries paler in colour and of 
better quality. This is Vaccinium macrocarpon. 

This fruit is successfully cultivated for the market in 
many parts of the Northern States of America, and is said 
to repay the cost of culture in a very profitable manner. 

The Cranberry belongs to one of the sub-orders of the 
BTeath family (Ericaceae), nor are its delicate pink-tinted 
flowers less beautiful than many of the exotic plants of that 
order, which we rear with care and pains in the greenhouse 
and conservatory; yet, growing in our midst as it were, few 
persons that luxuriate in the rich preserve that is made 
from the ripe fruit have ever seen the elegant trailing-plant, 
with its graceful blossoms and myrtle-like foliage. 

181 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

The botanical name is of Greek origin, from oxus, sour, 
and coccus, a berry. The plant thrives best in wet sandy 
soil and low mossy marshes. 

WILLOW-LEAVED MEADOWSWEET Spircea salicifolia (L.). 

Frederic Pursh, in his " North American Flora," a valuable 
work but little referred to, gives no less than seven different 
species of this Genus Spiraea as natives of Canada, but the 
description of two or three will be sufficient for the present 
limited work on the indigenous shrubs of this portion of the 
Dominion. Of the white-flowered species, Spircea salicifolia, 
the Willow-leaved Meadowsweet, is the most commonly met 
with, and is often found in gardens and shrubberies. It is 
a pretty, graceful shrub, with clustered feathery panicles of 
white or pale waxy-pink flowers, which are terminal on 
slender branches ; the leaves are long, narrow and thin, of a 
pale green, serrated on the margins. Our Spiraeas will not 
only bear removal to the garden but will flourish luxuriantly 
under cultivation. The only objection to their introduction 
to our borders is that they are apt to become too intrusive. 

A very slender form, with simple wand-like stems and 
terminal spikes of small white flowers, may be found grow- 
ing among the cracks and fissures of the rocky shores of 
uStoney Lake and its numerous islets, rooting in sterile spots 
tamong the few wild grasses that find nurture in the scanty 
imould that is lodged in such crevices. This delicate little 
shrub may be found in flower all through the hot months of 
July and August. The Spiraeas belong to the Kose family. 
The popular name, Meadowsweet, seems hardly appropriate 
to our pretty shrub, as it has very little fragrance. But this 
name for the whole genus is taken from the beautiful and 
odoriferous British species, Spiraea Ulmaria. 

182 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

HARDBACK ROSE-COLORED SPIRAEA Spircea tomentosa (L.). 

Of the several pretty shrubs belonging to the Genus 
Spircea which have been introduced into cultivation, none 
deserves a place in our gardens more decidedly than the 
above. It is a beautiful shrub, growing in wild profusion 
in swamps and on the rocky shores of our small inland 
lakes. It is about four feet high, with slender wand-like 
stems that rise from a woody rootstock, clothed with dark 
green serrated leathery leaves, which are smooth above but 
very downy underneath. The flowers are of a fine rose-pink, 
in closely-flowered panicles, a little branching in the larger 
heads. The bark of the stem is red and covered with down. 

While this elegant shrub is chiefly found near w^ater, it 
seems to prefer gravelly or rocky soil for its habitation. 

PURPLE SCENTED RASPBERRY Rubus odoratus (L.). 

(PLATE XVII.) 

In English gardens our beautiful Sweet-scented Raspberry 
is deemed worthy of a place in the shrubberies, but in its 
native country it is passed by and regarded as of little 
worth. Yet what can be more lovely than its rose-shaped 
blossoms, . from the deep purplish-crimson bud, wrapped in 
its odorous mossy calyx, to the unfolded flower of various 
shades of deep rose and paler reddish lilac. The flowers 
derive their pleasant aromatic odor from the closely-set 
coating of short bristly glandular hairs, each one of which 
is tipped with a gland of reddish hue containing a sweet- 
scented gum, as in the mossy envelope of the Moss-rose 
of the garden. These appendages, seen by the aid of a 
powerful microscope, are objects of exquisite beauty, more 
admirable than rubies and diamonds, living gems that fill 
us with wonder while we gaze into their marvellous parts 
and glorious colors. 

183 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

All through the hot months of June, July and August a 
succession of flowers is put forth at the ends of the branches 
and branchlets of our Sweet-scented Raspberry 

" An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds." 

The shrub is from two to five feet in height, branching 
from the woody perennial rootstock; the leaves are from 
three to five-lobed, the lobes pointed and roughly toothed. 
The leaves are of a dullish green, varying in size from 
several inches in diameter to mere bracts. The blossoms 
are often as large as those of the Sweet-briar and Dog-rose, 
but when first unfolded are more compact and cup-like. 
The fruit, which is popularly known by the name of Wild 
Mulberry, consists of many small red grains, somewhat dry 
and acid, scarcely tempting to the palate but not injurious 
in any degree. The shrub is more attractive for its flowers 
than for its insipid fruit. We have, indeed, few that are more 
ornamental among our native plants than this Rubus. 
Canada possesses many attractive shrubs that are but little 
known, which flourish year after year on the lonely shores 
of our inland lakes and marshy beaver meadows, unnoticed 
and uncared for in their solitary native haunts. 

Closely resembling the Purple Flowering Raspberry is the 
White Flowering Raspberry (R. Ntitkanus Mocino), the 
chief difference being in the color of the flowers and the 
shape of the petals, which in the latter species are of a lovely 
pure white and oval in shape. The whole plant is slightly 
smaller and less bristly. The fruit is very similar in both 
species. 

WILD RED RASPBERRY Rubus strigosus (Michx.). 

The Wild Raspberry springs up spontaneously all over 
Canada. In the forest, in newly made clearings after the 
fire has passed over the ground, on every upturned root, 

184 



All through * 
and branchlets of our 

' An odt 

The shrub is from t feet in height, 

from the woody perennial 'rootstock; the leav< 
three to five-lobed, the lobes pointed and roughly 
The leaves are of a dullish green, varyiiK 
several inches in diameter to mere b rafts. The blossoms 
are often as large as those of the Sweet-briar and Dog-rose, 
but wheu first unfolded are more compact and cup-like. 
The fruit, which is popularly known by the name of Wild 
Mulberry, consists of many small red grains, somewhat dry 
and acid, scarcely tempting to the palate but not injurious 

in any degree. The shrub 



than for its insipid fruit. We] re more 

ornamental rm Kubus. 

' 

Canada ptfttifcN little 

known, which , 
of our h 
and un 

Closely r, tne 

White Flo\-- the 

chief differ and the 

shape of the pes a lovely 

pure white and slightly 

smaller and less 1 
species. 

WILD RED ll.\ Ilchs.). 

}iontaneous; 
made clearing- 
has p; D even- 



PLATE XVI 




234 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

in the angles of the snake-fences, and on every waste and 
neglected spot, the Raspberry appears and takes possession 
of the land. Truly this useful and palatable fruit proves a 
blessing and a comfort in various ways to the poor, as well 
as a wholesome, welcome luxury to the richer inhabitants 
of our towns and villages. During the fruiting season the 
women and children are enabled to supply many household 
wants by the sale of the red and black Raspberries; even 
the little ones are made to contribute their small mite of 
labor, and may be seen in large parties going out with tins 
and sundry small vessels to the Raspberry grounds wild, 
rugged spots that have been abandoned by the farmer as 
worthless for the growth of roots and grain. He does not 
look beyond and see that with our bountiful Provider there 
are no waste places. He who fed the wandering multitude 
with manna in the thirsty desert, and brought forth springs 
of water from the flinty rock, can give fruits to satisfy the 
wants of His children in the Canadian wilderness. The 
wild berries are shared by God's humbler gleaners, the small 
animals and flocks of birds; and even the insects all come 
to this table that is spread abroad for them and us ; " and 
something gathers up all fragments and nothing is lost." 

The fruit of the common Red Raspberry begins to ripen 
early in the month of July, just about the time that the 
Strawberry ceases to be plentiful. The flowers are not very 
ornamental, whitish, but not clear white, rosaceous in form. 
The berry ripens very soon after the fading of the flowers. 

The color of the fruit of the common Raspberry is of a 
light red, changing with maturity to a dark crimson. The 
bush is upright and not very prickly. The leaves have from 
three to five leaflets, grayish or dull green, wrinkled and 
veiny, whitish underneath ; leaflets serrate, unequally lobed> 

185 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

pointed; the fruit is juicy and acid, not as sweet as that of 
the 

BLACK KASPBERRY Rubus occidentalis (L.). 

This species is distinguished from the above by its long 
arching flexile branches, covered with purplish red bark, 
strongly-hooked prickles and blackish fruit, very rich, firm 
and sweet. It loves to grow on hilly banks and upturned 
roots in the shade of the forest, where it can send down its 
long flexible branches, which bear an abundance of berries 
long after the Ked Kaspberry has failed to yield a supply. 
Gray calls this Black Raspberry by the familiar name of 
Thimbleberry ; but it is a fruit of the Blackberry (Rubus 
villosus Ait.) that is commonly known by this name. 
The berries of the Blackberry are not hollow, nor do they, 
like the last, separate from the receptacle; they are conical, 
sweet and luscious to the taste, in quality astringent, but 
not unpleasantly flavored. The berries ripen in August; 
the foliage is veiny, coarse, with strong red prickles, the 
stems strongly armed and covered with a dark-red bark, 
which with the root is highly astringent and used both in 
the form of a tea and syrup in cases of dysentery and 
summer complaint. The fruit in syrup is also considered 
medicinal and useful in similar complaints. 

A very pretty ornamental low creeping shrubby plant is 
the 

SWAMP BLACKBERRY Rubus Mspidus (L.). 

The branches, very strongly armed with hooked prickles, 
are long and slender, extending two or three feet over the 
ground; leaves, of three leaflets, bright varnished green, 
rounded at the ends, more in form like those of the Straw- 

186 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

berry; flowers, rather large, very delicately tinted with 
pinkish or else white, like a small single Briar Rose. This 
low Blackberry seems to love rocky ground, creeping among 
stones and rooting in the black mould in the crevices; the 
fruit is blackish-purple and pleasant to the taste. 

SWAMPBERRY Rubus triflorus (Richardson), 

is a pretty low trailing plant, bearing somewhat insigni- 
ficant white flowers and ruby-colored juicy acid fruit; it 
ripens about the same time as the Wild Strawberry, and the 
plants are seen running among the wild grasses and straw- 
berry vines, conspicuous by the lighter green leaves, which 
grow in compounds from three to five, coarsely doubly 
serrate and sharply pointed; the flowers in small bunches 
of three. Like that of all the genus, the fruit is perfectly 
wholesome. 

EARLY WILD ROSE Rosa Wanda (Ait.). 

(PLATE XX.) 

" Nor did I wonder at the lilies white, 

Nor praise the deep vermilion of the rose 

*' The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem 
For that sweet odor which in it doth live." 

Shakespeare. 

The Early Wild Rose (Rosa blanda) is hardly so deeply 
tinted as our Dwarf Wild Rose (Rosa lucida), but both 
possess attractions of color and fragrance, qualities that 
have made the rose the theme of many a poet's song. In 
the flowery language of the East, beauty and the rose seem 
almost to be synonymous terms. The Italian poets are full 
of allusions to this lovely flower, especially to the red 
Damask Rose. 

187 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

A popular song in the days of Charles I. was that begin- 
ning with the lines 

" Gather your roses while you may, 

For time is still a flying, 
And that same flower that blooms to-day 
To-morrow may be dying." 

The leaves of Rosa blanda are pale underneath; leaflets 
five to seven; flowers blush-pink; stem not very prickly; 
fruit red and round; the bush from one to three feet in 
height. 

DWAEP WILD ROSE R. lucida (Ehrh.), 

is widely diffused over Canada; it is found on all open 
plain-lands, but shuns the deep shade of the forest. The 
bark is of a bright red, and the young wood is armed with 
bristly prickles of a grayish color. When growing in shade 
the half-opened flowers and buds are of a deep pink or 
carmine, but where more exposed in sunny spots the petals 
fade to a pale blush-color. This shrub becomes somewhat 
troublesome if encouraged in the garden, owing to the run- 
ning roots sending up many shoots. In its wild state the 
Dwarf Eose seldom exceeds three feet in height; it is the 
second and older wood that bears the flowers; the flower- 
bearing branches become almost smooth or only remotely 
thorny. The leaflets vary in number from five to nine ; they 
are sharply serrated at the edges and smooth on the surface ; 
the globular scarlet fruit is flattened at the eye and is of a 
pleasant sub-acid taste. 

This beautiful red-barked rose grows in great profusion 
on the plains above Eice Lake, clothing large tracts of hill 
and dale and scenting the evening air at dew-fall with its 
delicate fragrance. 

188 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

The Swamp Rose (Rosa Carolina L.) is not uncommon ; 
it is often seen growing at the margins of lakes and rivers 
and at the edges of stony islands; it will climb, with the 
aid of supporting trees, to the height of eight and ten feet. 
The numerous and showy flowers are of a somewhat pur- 
plish tinge of pink and are borne in corymbs; the leaves 
are whitish underneath. This rose is armed with stout 
hooked prickles below, on the old woody stem, but is 
smoother above; the flowers are more clustered than in the 
other species. 

The Sweet Briar is often found growing in waste places 
and in thickets near clearings the seed, no doubt, carried 
thither by those unconscious husbandmen, the wild birds and 
the squirrels, that feed upon the heps as they ripen. The 
leaves retain for some time their sweet fragrance that is so 
delicious. 

There is a delicate pale-flowered Sweet Briar Rose (Rosa 
micrantha Smith), having small foliage and numerous 
blossoms, stems low and branching, and covered with hooked 
prickles, which has been found growing on the high oak hills 
in the township of Rawdon, and which, I am informed, is 
not uncommon in similar localities in Western Canada. 

WAXWORK CLIMBING BITTERSWEET Celastrus 
scandens ( L. ) . 

This highly ornamental climber, with its clusters of con- 
spicuous berries, is a great adornment to open woods during 
the late autumnal months, and indeed all through the 
winter, twining round the stems of slender saplings of 
white birch, cherry, ash, and elm, not unfrequently clinging 
so closely to its supporter as to form an intimate union 
with the bark, its own smooth slender stem, in serpent-like 
coils, forming graceful volutes round the column of the 

189 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

unfortunate tree, which suffers from the close embrace that 
stops the free circulation of the sap in its upward ascent 
to the branches. The Climbing Bittersweet is a rapid 
grower, and consequently a bold enemy that takes forcible 
possession of any young sapling which comes within its 
reach; a very Old Man of the Sea that, once fixed, no blast 
of wind can shake off. But while we take the liberty of 
railing at the unconscious intruder, we must not omit to 
dwell upon its good qualities. Its brilliant scarlet arils 
(coverings of the seeds) and orange fruit, that in profusion 
ornament the tree about which it twines, enliven the dull 
woods at a season when bright tints have ceased to charm 
the eye and all the glories of maple, cherry, birch, ash, and 
beech lie mouldering on the ground at our feet. We may 
then look upwards to some slender silver -barked birch or 
gray butternut and admire the gorgeous scarlet festoons that 
hang so gracefully among the naked leafless branches. 
The plant, too, is very attractive in its spring verdure. The 
delicate leaves are ovate-oblong, narrowing towards the 
point, finely serrated, alternate; the flowers, in raceme-like 
clusters, are yellowish green, followed by round smooth 
berry-like pods, which deepen, as the summer advances, from 
yellow to orange and from orange to bright scarlet. When 
the seeds are ripe the pod divides and the segments curl back 
and disclose the three-celled, three-valved berry, which has, 
in each cell, one or two hard yellow seeds covered with a 
thin coating of scarlet pulp which is called the aril; this 
is acrid and burning to the taste. The Indians make use 
of the acrid juices of this plant, from the inner bark of the 
root and the bruised berries, to compound an ointment which 
is stimulant and healing for old sores, chilblains, and dis- 
orders of a similar nature. In country places in England 
I have seen the berries of the Black Bryony boiled down 

190 



FLOWEKING SHRUBS 

with lard for an application to chilblains, which had a 
similar effect to the Indian Bittersweet salve. The Indians 
also apply this remedy to burns. The inner bark is used 
as an orange dye by the natives.* 

There are several species belonging to this order found 
in Canada, but though very ornamental in cultivation as 
shrubs, none are climbing, like our forest Bittersweet, or give 
such enduring winter ornaments to our houses. Mixed with 
the branches of spruce, hemlock, and balsam fir, it forms a 
substitute at Christmas in our churches for the bright glossy 
leaves and red berries of the English holly. 

The Greek name of this ornamental shrub is derived from 
a word meaning " latter season," on account of the fruit 
remaining persistent through the winter. 

If the Bittersweet were planted in shrubberies, or among 
trees in plantations, it would become an enduring ornament 
and enliven the dulness of our Canadian landscape with its 
bright colors during the long months of winter. 

LABRADOR TEA. Ledum latifolium (Ait.). 

This is another of our medicinal shrubs, and was held in 
great repute among the lumbermen and the old backwoods- 
men for its sanatory qualities as a strengthener and purifier 
of the blood, and as being good for the system in various 
inward complaints. Some of the old settlers used a decoc- 
tion of the leaves as a substitute for tea, approving of the 
resinous aromatic flavor. I was induced to try the beverage, 
but did not find it to my taste, though it was on the whole 
preferable to hemlock tea, another favorite beverage among 
backwoodsmen. As a medicine it doubtless deserves the com- 

* The name Bittersweet is taken from the graceful English climber Solanum dulcamara 
(L.), from a fancied resemblance between the two plants. The English Bittersweet is 
sometimes found in Canada on the borders of swamps and in low woods, but is an intro- 
duced plant. 

191 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

mendations bestowed upon it. Though I did not care for 
the decoction of the leaves, I was charmed with the beauty 
of the plant when I first saw it growing on the banks of one 
of the lakes north of Peterborough. The whole aspect of 
this remarkable shrub is most interesting. In height it 
varies from two to four feet; it is bushy in habit, but some- 
what open and spreading; the leaves are lanceolate, entire, 
very decidedly revolute at the margins, and clothed with a 
dense rust-colored woolly felt beneath. The leaves are of a 
thick leathery texture and dull brownish-green color. The 
flowers are white, forming elegant umbel-like clusters at the 
summits of the slender sprays. As the heads of flowers are 
very abundant, this shrub forms a striking object when seen 
growing in numbers along the banks of lakes or in low flats, 
for it will flourish both on wet and dry situations, nor does it 
refuse to flower when brought into garden culture. It is a 
very ornamental object, deserving to be better known than 
at present seems to be the case. The leaves when bruised 
emit an agreeable resinous aromatic odor. 

The roots of the Labrador Tea are wiry and covered with 
a bitter astringent bark. Professor Lindley also mentions, 
in his " Natural System of Botany," the astringent qualities 
of another member of the family Ledum palustre (L.), a 
slightly smaller shrub with narrower leaves and oval instead 
of oblong pods; the stamens, too, are uniformly ten instead 
of five and seven as in this species. L. palustre is found in 
the north of Europe and also in the far north in Canada. 

WILD ROSEMARY Andromeda polifolia (L.), 

is another of our native shrubs, and grows in peat bogs and 
on the swampy margins of lakes, associated with Labrador 
Tea, the Pitcher Plant and the elegant Low-bush Cranberry. 
The stems are from three to eighteen inches in height, and 

192 





PLATE XVIII. 
Trailing Arbutus (Epigaea rcpens). P. 150. 







iations bestow. Thou 

the decoction of the 1> 
of the plant when I 
of the lakes north of 

this remark abi ing. I 

varies from shy in habit, b 

what open i are lanceolate, 

very the margins, and clothed wi 

dense rust-eoioi beneath. The are of a 

thick leathery texture and dull brownish -gr<- r. The 

flowers an- white, forming elegant umbel-Hk< re at the 

summits of the slender Vs the h are 

very abund; seen 

growing in ; along the ban iats, 

for it, will flourish both on wet 

refuse to flower w!. It is a 

very ornau ' .111VX 3TAJ^ han 

at r . -. i A on ir. Rl T s bruised 

zuluchA gmliBii 



0?l 
.UCl 

Ti 

a bl- - ions, 

in his * 

of ano! j, a 

slightly sin. ( val instead 

of oblong pr*.- 

of five and is found in 

the north of i inada. 

WILD * >lia (L.), 

is another of ou D peat b 

on the swamp v with Labr 

Tea, the Pitehe and the elegant Low-bush Cranb- 

The from thnt to eighteen inches in heL 



PLATE XVIII. 




FLOWERING SHRUBS 

bear on the summits of the branches of the previous year 
the light pinkish flowers, which are three to eight in 
number, on rather long pedicels and drooping in a one- 
sided raceme; the stamens are ten in number and remain 
persistent on the dry berry-like capsule. The leaves are 
shining green above, glaucous-white beneath, and have the 
margins so strongly revolute as to appear almost linear. 
This plant is said to have astringent and narcotic properties 
and to give intoxicating qualities to liquids in which it is 
infused. 

SILKY CORNEL KINNIKINNIC Cornus sericea (L.). 

This species is the true Kinnikinnic of the Indians of 
central Canada, the leaves and bark being used by them in the 
place of tobacco, or mixed with it. I have been told it is of 
an intoxicating quality. The bark is used also as a tonic 
and febrifuge. The berries are pale blue; the flowers form 
flat cymes and are greenish-white; the young bark is pur- 
plish. The bush grows to the height of eight to ten feet, in 
low damp rich ground forming dense thickets. There is a 
fine white silky fibre in the leaves, w r hich may be seen by 
breaking the mid-rib across. The thread is as fine and as 
frail as the delicate web with which some spiders envelop 
their eggs too fine to be turned to any use. 

The silken thread is not confined to this species alone, it 
exists in many other trees and plants. In the nerves of 
several of the Dogwoods it is seen quite as conspicuously as 
in C. sericea. 

PANICLED OR PRIVET-LEAVED CORNEL Cornus paniculata 

(L'Her.). 

This is a very pretty species of Dogwood found abundantly 
on the Rice Lake plains, on the high dry hills between the 

13 193 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

hamlets of Harwood and Gore's Landing. The bush is not 
more than four or five feet high, with light branching 
sprays. The pretty white flowers are borne in convex cymes, 
or sometimes in panicles, and are followed by snow-white 
berries. The foliage is dark-green, often with a purplish- 
bronze tint; the leaves are long and narrow, the nerves 
whitish, and the light veining distinctly marked; the sur- 
face of the leaf is very smooth, but hardly shining. This 
pretty shrub would be well worthy of being introduced into 
our shrubberies. 

There are many other species of Dogwood which are com- 
mon to our swamps and thickets, some reaching to the 
height of small trees, as the Flowering Dogwood, C. florida, 
which is held in great esteem in the United States for 
certain medicinal qualities; it has been used as a substitute 
for Peruvian bark in low fevers. The Indians are said to 
extract a red dye from the roots. The fruit of the Flowering 
Dogwood is scarlet; the flowers, with their showy creamy- 
white involucres, three inches across, are very handsome, 
and are produced abundantly in the month of June. This 
very handsome shrub grows in Western Canada, where it 
sometimes becomes a tree and reaches to the height of twenty 
or thirty feet. A great contrast is this stately species to the 
dwarf herbaceous creeping plant of our woods, Cornus 
Canadensis. 

BED OSIER DOGWOOD Cornus stolonifera (Michx.). 

There are few of the native species of Cornel that are 
more ornamental than the Eed Osier Dogwood, the bright 
crimson wand-like branches of which, even when stripped of 
their foliage, are an enduring ornament. Their rosy foliage, 
mirrored on the surface of the smooth waters of lake or 
forest stream, enlivens the landscape and delights the eye 

194 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

when the beauty of the foliage of the surrounding trees and 
shrubs has been swept away before the autumnal frosts and 
wintry winds. 

In spring and early summer the white fragrant flowers, 
in crowded flat heads, adorn the low shores. Later in the 
fall the white berries on the bright red sprays are hardly 
less attractive. The fruit is unpalatable for man, but is 
eaten by some of the water-fowl that have their haunts in 
the lakes and inland waters. This species is the Kinnikinnic 
of the western and prairie Indians. 

PARTEIDGEBERRY TRAILING WINTERGREEN Mitchella 
repens (L.). 

Another of our pretty red-berried creeping forest plants is 
the Partridgeberry/. The flexile branchlets of this little plant, 
spreading from the joints of the trailing stem, form a mat 
of dark green foliage covering unsightly patches of decaying 
wood, roots, and stones with many a graceful wreath, as if 
Nature kindly placed them there to veil the rugged ground 
with grace and beauty, in the same way as the green ivy 
clothes and adorns the mouldering ruin with its enduring 
verdure. 

Each slender leafy spray of our pretty Wintergreen is 
terminated by tubular star-shaped twin blossoms, which 
are divided at the margin into five sharply-pointed segments, 
white, sometimes slightly tinged with pink. The ovaries are 
united at the base of the flowers and form one double-eyed 
round berry for each pair of flowers; the interior of the 
flower-tube is hairy. The scent is sweet, faintly resembling 
that of the White Jessamine. 

The berries remain persistent all through the winter. 
They ripen to brilliant scarlet in the autumn and so con- 
tinue till the return of spring. Thus we may find fresh 

195 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

flowers, newly-set fruit and the ripe berries all on the same 
plant. The small round leaves are veined with white, which 
gives a variegated look to their dark green surface. 

The berries are mealy and insipid but are eaten by the 
Indian women and children as a dainty. These berries form 
food for the wood-grouse our Canadian partridge and for 
the woodchuck and other small quadrupeds that have their 
haunts in our forests and cedar swamps. The elegant 
wreaths of dark variegated leaves and scarlet berries are 
sometimes used by Canadian girls as ornaments for their 
hair; and I have seen white muslin evening dresses trimmed 
with the sprays of this pretty evergreen, which had a charm- 
ing effect, besides showing good taste and economy combined 
in the fair wearers. 

9 
HIGH-BUSH CRANBERRY AMERICAN GUELDER-ROSE 

Viburnum Opulus (L.). 

This fine shrub, with its large loose cymes of white 
flowers, makes a goodly show during the month of June, 
mingling its snowy blossoms with the surrounding foliage 
of dark evergreens on the wooded banks of forest streams 
and along the low shores of inland lakes and islands. Not 
less attractive is it when the full bunches of oval berries 
begin to ripen, first turning to amber, then brilliant orange- 
scarlet, and lastly, when touched by the frosts of autumn, 
to a transparent crimson. All through the winter you may 
see the bright ruby fruit upon the bushes, among the snow- 
clad branches, sometimes encased in crystal ice and magni- 
fied by the magic touch of hoar-frost. Nor is the fruit of 
the High-bush Cranberry altogether useless to the Canadian 
housekeeper; an excellent jelly is often made from the acid 
juice and pulp of the ripe fruit, when strained from the flat 

196 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

bony seeds and boiled with sugar; and though somewhat 
astringent, it forms an excellent sauce for roasted mutton 
or venison, and, mixed with water, is useful as a fever drink. 

As a garden shrub this Viburnum is considered very orna- 
mental, from its abundance of flowers and beautiful fruit. 
It is no other than the fertile plant of the American Guelder- 
rose. The cultivated Snowball Tree of our gardens is the 
same species, in which the fertile flowers have been sup- 
pressed and the showy sterile ones, which only appear in 
small numbers round the edge of the cyme in the wild plant, 
greatly increased in number by the skill of the horticulturist. 
The V. Opulus is also indigenous to England. I remember 
finding the same flowering bush on the banks of a lonely 
pond in Eeydon Wood, Suffolk, and recognized the High- 
bush Cranberry on the shores of the Otonabee Eiver from its 
likeness to the shrub that had attracted my notice in my 
woodland rambles in England. 

The foliage of the High-bush Cranberry takes a bronzed- 
purple hue, turning to a deep crimson in the Autumn. The 
leaves are large, three-lobed and pointed. The flowers are 
borne on wide-spreading peduncled cymes, having the central 
flowers very small but fertile; the marginal ones are im- 
perfect, being destitute of both stamens and pistils, but the 
corollas are disproportionately large and give the beauty to 
the flower clusters of this fine shrub. 

The name Cranberry has been improperly applied to 
Viburnum Opulus, as it has no affinity with the low creep- 
ing Marsh Cranberry, that most elegant and charming little 
plant, with its delicate graceful flowers, myrtle-like leaves, 
and pear-shaped ruby-colored fruit. Those persons who use 
the fruit as a preserve know little of the exquisite beauty 
of the plant itself. To be admired it should be seen in its 
native haunts, growing among the soft peat-mosses of our 

197 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

marshes and bogs. The wreaths of fine dark foliage, bear- 
ing the delicate pink waxy flowers on slender thready foot- 
stalks, and the large berries in every stage of progress 
green, yellow, deep red and purplish red resting upon the 
gray lichens and lovely cream-colored peat-mosses, produce 
an effect worth seeing. 

The name of the genus is supposed to be derived from the 
Latin word vieo, to tie, on account of the flexibility of the 
branches of some of the species. The word viburna, in the 
plural, seems to have been applied by the ancients to all 
plants which were used for tying. 

HOBBLE-BUSH Viburnum lantanoides (Michx.). 

This shrub would appear to be typical of the genus, for 
the branches twine and twist most irregularly; the lower 
ones are procumbent, often taking root where they touch 
the ground, whence the popular name. The flowers of this 
species somewhat resemble the last, but are more cream- 
colored and appear earlier. The large handsome leaves are 
round ovate, heart-shaped at the base, and, together with 
the young branch lets, are covered underneath on the veins 
and veinlets with tufts of brown down. The ovoid fruit is 
crimson, turning blackish, and although edible is not very 
pleasant. 

MAPLE-LEAVED DOCKMACKIE Viburnum acerifolium (L.), 

is a low pretty shrub, not uncommon in open thickets and 
damp woods. The flowers are more delicate than, and not so 
conspicuous as, those of the preceding, but it would make 
a pretty border shrub, bearing some resemblance to the 
Laurestinus, with which it has been compared; the foliage, 
however, is very unlike, being of a light-green color, veiny, 

198 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

and lobed, coarsely-toothed and slightly downy underneath. 
The fruit is dark purple or black, hard and flat, not edible. 
There is a larger species which is known as the Larger 
Dockmackie or Indian Arrow-wood (V. dentatum L.). The 
Indians used the long straight wand-like branches of this 
shrub, when seasoned by the smoke of the wigwam, for the 
shafts of their arrows; but since they have been able to 
obtain rifles the flint arrow-heads have fallen into disuse 
and are found no more in the Indian wigwam. This primi- 
tive weapon (formidable it must have been) is found only 
on old battle-fields, or by chance the settler picks up one 
in turning the soil on his new burnt fallow, wonders at the 
curious shaped flint, and perhaps brings it home, but more 
likely casts it away. It is a type of the uncared-for race 
whose forefathers shaped the stone with infinite care and 
pains. 

There is another Viburnum, 

" . . . ,. 
SHEEPBERRY SWEETBERRY V. Lentago (L.). 

This species is found in rocky ravines and on the sides of 
dry hills. The fruit is sweet and pleasant, and when cooked, 
with the addition of red currants, forms a very nice preserve, 
pudding or pie. As the work of settlement goes on many of 
our familiar wild shrubs and flowers disappear from their 
old localities, and in time will be exterminated. Many, too, 
that might be introduced into cultivated grounds and prove 
floral ornaments in gardens, or useful for kitchen purposes, 
are doomed to be lost or utterly neglected. 

Is there no wealthy botanist, with ample means to do so, 
who will form a garden on a large scale and gather together 
the forest flowers, shrubs and ferns of Canada? It would 
be a work of great interest. 

199 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

BUTTON-BUSH Cephalanthus occidentalis (L.). 

A pretty shrub about five feet high, belonging to the 
Rubiacece or Madder family, with light green smooth leaves, 
and round heads of closely set whitish-green flowers. The 
corolla is tubular, slender; style thready and protruding 
beyond the petals. The flowers have a sweet, faint perfume. 
This shrub is chiefly found in low thickets on the borders of 
swamps. The receptable remains persistent on the bush in 
dry round button-like heads, whence its common name. I 
am not acquainted with any particular qualities possessed 
by this shrub. It flowers in August. 

POISON IVY POISON OAK POISON ELDER Rhus 
Toxicodendron (L.). 

The Sumac family boasts of two of the most poisonous 
vegetables yet known in Canada, viz., Rhus venenata or 
Poison Sumac, and Rhus Toaicodendron or Poison Ivy. 
The former, R. venenata (DC.), is an elegant shrub, growing 
in swamps, with shining smooth odd-pinnate leaves, and 
from ten to fifteen feet high, producing when touched a 
violent sort of erysipelas, in some cases fatal in its effects. 
The leaflets, from seven to thirteen, oval, entire, pointed; 
the flowers, small, insignificant, greenish, in loose panicles 
from the axils of the upper leaves; berries green, smooth, 
of the size of peas. This is spoken of as the most deadly 
of the poisonous sumacs, but fortunately it is of rare 
occurrence. The common Poison Ivy, however, is only too 
frequently met with; it grows in low ground or on barren 
rocky islands, among wild herbs and grasses, in open 
thickets, at the roots of stumps, and will often find its way 
into our gardens. It may be found in cultivated fields, 
flourishing on stone heaps indeed, wherever its roots can 



200 




PkATE XIX. 
Strawberry Bfite (Blitum capitatum). P. 136. 




STUDIES 






BUTTON-BI -;,US GC< is 

A pretty shrub 
x or Madd< 
and round hea- 
corolla is tubir 
beyond the pet: 
This shrub is chi 
swamps. The n 
dry round bull-- 
am not acquau- 
by this shrub. 

P< 



five feet high, belong the 

t green snv ves, 

hitish-green flowers. The 
.}y and protruding 

is on the borders of 
persistent on the bush in 
nee its common name. I 
iar qualities possessed 

ELDER Rl 



The Sir 
vegetables 

The fiv 

in s-:- 

from ten r 

violent son 

The leaflets, f- 

the flowers, sir 

from the axils 



S 

* 



.XIX 3TA 



; most poisonous 
,,^ ff or 

^dw-rf 

dd-] 

-urrhed a 

its effects. 

< pointed; 

loose pan = 
> green, sm< 



of the size of i iie most dr 

of the poisonous suit it is of 

occurrence. The common is onl^ 

frequently met with; low ground or on b;r 

rocky islands, s, in 

the roo \\ill often find its 

>rdens. It mxy be found in eulth 
ideed, wherever it 






PLATE XIX. 




FLOWERING SHRUBS 

find soil to nourish the plant the Poison Ivy may be found. 
Of its injurious effects on the human body I can speak from 
experience, having witnessed its baneful influence in many 
instances. Gray describes its noxious qualities as " poison- 
ous to the touch, even the effluvium in sunshine affecting 
some persons." 

There are various opinions regarding the way in which 
the virus is communicated, and also in what part of the 
plant it exists, some persons thinking that actual contact is 
necessary, others that it is emitted from the leaves when 
wetted by dews and given out in sunshine; again it is 
asserted by some to be the pollen of the flowers floating in 
the air and resting on the skin which is the cause, while 
others say that the poison is given out in a gaseous vapor 
at dewfall. All these suggestions may have some founda- 
tion. I am inclined to think that the poisonous qualities of 
the plant are given out in the heat of the day, when the 
sun's rays are most powerful, and float freely in the atmos- 
phere, as there are instances of persons being affected in 
daytime when only passing within some little distance of 
places where the plant abounded, without coming into 
actual contact with it in any way. 

To some persons the Poison Ivy is perfectly harmless. I, 
for one, have gathered it for my herbarium in all stages of 
its growth, without receiving from it the slightest injury, 
while other members of the family have suffered severely 
from having been near it or walking among the shrubs 
where it was growing. It is during the hot summer months 
that most of the cases of poisoning occur, especially in June 
and July. 

The first symptoms are redness about the eyelids, ears, and 
throat, which quickly increase to angry inflamed blotches, 
rising in blisters, the whole face becoming swollen so as to 

201 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

produce blindness for several hours or days; the irritation 
of the skin is very great. Sometimes the poison extends 
over the arms and body and legs; fever, headache and 
even delirium will affect the patient, as in cases of severe 
erysipelas. Where the constitution is at all unsound, the 
effects are worse to overcome, and it is one of the evils 
induced by the virus that it produces in many cases a 
chronic disposition to break out, year after year, at the 
time when the plant is in its most flourishing condition. 
This has generally taken place in June and July. Some 
homeopathists are said to treat the case with doses of Rhus 
Toxicodendron, according to their system; others again use 
belladonna. Country doctors give alkalies soda, ammonia 
and cooling medicine's. The old settlers apply the succulent 
juicy leaves and stalks of the wild Canadian Balsam 
(Impatiens fulva-) and other cooling herbs -with thick cream; 
but I should think that limewater, given with milk in- 
wardly and applied outwardly to the skin, as in burns, 
might prove a good remedy. Where the disease caused by 
this poisonous plant is so often met with in country places 
the most ready and certain remedies should be made known 
to the public. Physicians who have had no experience of 
the disease produced by the Poison Ivy are sometimes at a 
loss how to treat it successfully. 

Every one should be acquainted with the appearance of 
the Poison Ivy, so that it may be avoided when out in the 
country among weeds and thickets, rocks and waters. 

This wicked little plant is not without its attractions to 
the eye; it varies in height from about one foot to two, but 
will climb, when meeting with support, to ten and fifteen 
feet.* I have seen it against a stone building, growing along 
with the Virginia Creeper up to the windows of a lofty 

* This is the variety radicans. 

202 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

second story building, no one having discovered the mis- 
chievous intruder, though very different in foliage from the 
Creeper. The leaves are three-foliate, thin, of a dull palish 
green, smooth, but not glossy. The leaflets are broad at the 
base, indented, hardly deep enough to be called lobed, in 
some instances only a little waved at the margins, pointed, 
thickened at the junction of the stem. One of the leaflets 
is generally larger and more lozenge-shaped than the other 
two, but they vary a good deal in size and form. Sometimes 
there is a winged lobe on the larger and outer one. Towards 
evening the leaves droop downwards, exposing less of the 
surface to the air and night dews. 

The plant spreads by means of the roots, which send up 
shoots from beneath the surface; the stem of the plant is 
woody, thickening at the joints of the leafstalks. The 
flowers appear near the tops of the shoots in little upright 
panicles; they are of a pale greenish-white; the berries 
ripen in August and are of a dead white, yellow, or dun- 
colored. About the time of the ripening of the berries the 
leaves begin to droop earthward and turn to beautiful tints 
of orange, varying to brilliant scarlet, which, with the white 
fruit, has a pretty effect. 

The Rhus contains a black dye which is indelible and 
which no washing will remove. It is a pity that it cannot 
be utilized. Professor John Lindley says : " An indelible 
black dye is produced by the juice extracted from the plant," 
and adds, " This appears to be a property in common with 
many plants of this order. The Stagmaria verniciflua 
furnishes the black lac which is used as a varnish in Japan. 
The resin produced by this tree causes excoriations and 
blisters on the skin. The Cashew-nut is another member of 
the order, all which are more or less remarkable as dye 
woods, or for some medicinal uses, or acridly poisonous." 

203 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 
STAG-HORN SUMAC Rhus typhina (L.). 

Though belonging to a very poisonous order of plants, our 
common native Sumac is more noted for its useful than its 
hurtful qualities. Both the Dwarf Sumac, R. glabra, and the 
common R. typhina are to be found all through Western 
Canada, in groves and on old neglected clearings, on rocky 
islets and by roadsides, the seeds being largely sown by the 
birds that feed upon the berries. 

The foliage of the Sumac is very graceful and highly 
ornamental to the landscape in the fall of the year, when 
its long drooping pinnate leaves, from nineteen to thirty- 
one-foliate, assume the most glowing tints of orange, scarlet 
and crimson. The flowers are of two kinds, or dioecious, in 
close conical upright heads, terminating the branches; the 
fruit, small round berries, beset with soft crimson acid hairs, 
which remain persistent on the receptacle, around which 
they cluster and give to the tree a strikingly ornamental 
appearance. These beautiful crimson velvet-like cones con- 
tinue all through the cold wintry weather, forming a con- 
tinual feast for the late going and early coming birds a 
bountiful provision for those pensioners on God's providence 
who " neither sow nor reap, and yet our Heavenly Father 
feedeth them." 

The term Stag-horn I imagine to have been suggested not 
only by the extended branches but also by the fine brown 
downy covering that clothes the branchlets and stems of the 
leaves and flower-bearing shoots, resembling the velvety 
down on the young horns of deer when they first sprout forth. 

The wood of the Stag-horn Sumac is of a fine yellow 
color, and the chips and bark are used as dyewoods. The 
bark is used in tanning and the root as a powerful astringent 
and tonic in intermittent fever, while the acid fruit can be 

204 



FLOWERING SHRUBS 

converted into a strong vinegar, and is so used, I am told, 
in New England. I have, however, never seen the fruit of 
the Sumac made use of in this country for any household 
purpose. 

SMOOTH DWARF SUMAC R. glabra (L.). 

This also is widely diffused through Canada. It is a 
pretty shrub, but troublesome, from sending up so many 
shoots; it rises from a very low size to ten and twelve feet 
high. It is very similar to the last, but the foliage is 
narrower, glaucous-white underneath; the eleven to thirty- 
one sharply-toothed and pointed leaflets are very smooth on 
the surface and take on brilliant orange and scarlet colors 
before fading. The stem is also smooth and glaucous, like 
the leaves. There is another dwarf species, R. copallina 
(L.), found in rocky soil, the chief characteristic of which 
consists in the winged margin of the leafstalks; it is a 
lower and smaller shrub than R. glabra, and is exceedingly 
rare in Canada. 

BLACK ALDER WINTERBERRY Ilex verticillata (Gray). 

This red-berried shrub belongs to the Holly family, but 
we have in Canada no tree which takes the place of the 
British Hulme or Holly Tree, with its glossy prickle-armed 
evergreen leaves, green bark, and brilliant garniture of 
scarlet berries. 

" It is green in the winter and gay in the spring, 
And the old holly tree is a beautiful thing." 

The Holly among the Romans denoted peace and good- 
will and possibly for this cause was chosen by the early 
Christians as symbolical of the peaceable character that 
should distinguish the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ 

205 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

. 
the Prince of Peace. The earliest notice of decking the 

churches and dwelling-houses with holly is in the reign of 
Henry VI., by some pious but now forgotten writer a 
chronicler of old customs who, devoutly lamenting over 
the disuse of some observances in church matters, consoles 
himself with the remark that " Our churches and houses are 
decked with rosemary, holly and ivy, with other goodlye 
shrubbes that keepe ever green; doubtless to reminde us 
that the childe then borne was God and man, who shoulde 
spring uppe as a tender floure to live in oure hartes, and 
there dwelle for ever more." 

Our woody red-berried Winterberry is the nearest rela- 
tion we have to the Holly in Ontario, but it is not prickly, 
neither is it an evergreen. 

The crest of the Strickland family is the Holly Tree; of 
the Gordons, the Ivy. This custom of heraldic bearings, 
especially the crest surmounting the coat of arms, is very 
ancient, and may be referred back to the time when writing 
was not in use, when it formed a sort of pictorial history as 
to the origin of the family. We find it here among Indian 
tribes, each tribe and the members of it being known by its 
totem or heraldic sign. Thus we have the " Eagle Tribe," 
the Crane," the " Crow," the " Snake," etc., the figure of 
bird, beast, tree, or reptile being the sign adopted by the 
heads of the tribe, or chiefs, as the sign manual to be 
appended to any deed or treaty; scratched or figured with 
pen, charred stick, or knife, or whatever is the instrument 
at hand, the totem is rudely drawn, and is the superscription 
of the tribe. 

The individual name is derived from some circumstance 
independent of the totem of the tribe; whatever object first 
meets the eye of the child is given as a name. Thus we find 
" Opechee " (robin), "Omemee" (wild pigeon), " Snow- 

206 



FLOWERING SHKUBS 

storm," " Ked Cloud/' " Westwind," " Murmuring Waters," 
and other poetical names descriptive of natural objects or 
events. 

The Holly is endeared to us by many interesting associa- 
tions connected with childhood and youth and extending up 
to extreme old age. 

It gladdens the cottage, it brightens the hall, 
And the gay Holly Tree is beloved by all ; 
It shadows the altar, it hallows the hearth, 
An emblem of peaceful and innocent mirth. 

Spring blossoms are lovely, and summer flowers gay, 
But the chill winds will wither and chase them away ; 
While the rude blasts of autumn and winter may rave 
In vain round the Holly the Holly so brave. 

Though the brave old English gentleman no longer now is seen, 
And customs old have passed away as things that ne'er have been, 
Though wassail shout is heard no more, nor Mistletoe we see ; 
They've left us still the Holly green, the bonny Holly-tree. 

There is an old couplet that is common in the north of 
England about the Holly: 

" O the oak, and the ash, and the bonny holly tree, 
They flourish best of all in the north countrie." 

The dark hued evergreen leaves of the Holly, with their 
rich garniture of vivid scarlet berries, which remain per- 
sistent all through the winter and far into the spring, have 
been so often described or alluded to in print that they must 
be well known to all. From its use in adorning houses 
and the churches from Christmastide till Candlemas or the 
beginning of Lent, the Holly is much thought of and valued 
by young and old in England; but we miss both the ever- 
green leaves and the old associations in our Canadian Holly, 
and so it is less cared for on that account. The bush for 
it never rises in this country to any height is from eight to 

207 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

ten feet high ; it is mostly found in damp swampy soil or on 
the banks of streams and beaver meadows, partaking of the 
habits of the alder, which it resembles in its love of moisture. 

The leaves are ovate, somewhat narrowed at the base, 
serrate at the edges, thin, and not spiny, rather downy 
underneath; the branches and branchlets are dark colored; 
flowers greenish, on very short stalks, clustered in the axils 
of the leaves; the bush stiff and upright; leaves deciduous; 
berries bright red, remaining on the branches through the 
winter, much sought for by the wild pigeon and Canadian 
partridge. 

There is another shrub of the same order known as the 

MOUNTAIN HOLLY Nemopanthes Canadensis (DC.), 

which is found northwards in cold bogs. Early in May, the 
swamps where this shrub abounds have a warm reddish- 
brown hue from the color of the young leaves; this soon 
turns to a delicate green, which again changes as it gets 
mature to a bluish glaucous green. The rose-colored berries 
are gracefully borne on long pedicels and are sometimes 
found in great profusion, when they present a beautiful 
effect. The berries of these hardy shrubs are a great 
resource for food to the " wee hopping things," our late 
and early birds, and together with the dry seeds of the 
Mullein and Rough Amaranth, which harbor many insects 
in their husky seed-vessels, support them till the spring 
returns bringing food and gladness to the earth, when the 
Great Father opens His hand and filleth all things living 
with plenteousness. 



208 






PLATE XX. 



1. Early Wild Rose (Rosa blanda). P. 187. 

2. Beard-tongue (Pentstemon pubescens). P. 138. 



STUOU-: 



the banks of streams and beaver meadows, p.- 
habits of the alder, which it resembles in i- 

The leaves are ovate, K ft narrowed a'; 

serrate at the not spiny, rather 

underneath; t! i branchlets are dark 

flowers greenis!< rt stalks, clustered in the - 

of the leaves; the bush stiff and upright; leaves decidu 
berries bright red, remaining on the branches through 
winter, much sought for by the wild pigeon and Cana- 
partridge. 

There is another shrub of the same order known as 

MOUNTAIN HOLLY Xcmopar- -is (D( 

.XX 3TAJ<? 

in Ma\ 



which is found no 
swamps w) 
brown hue 
turns to ad 
matii 
are ,. 

found in gr* 
effect, Th' 



,i rol 

.(znsozsduq 



The ro>- 

hen tip a bea* 

are a 

resource 1 "' woe things," our 

and early * -,.'ther wrth the dry seeds of 

Mullein an* niarantl. b harbor many 

in their hi; them till tin 

returns brh; ;ae earth, wh-- h* 

Great Father opens His i h all tl: 

with plenteousn 






PLATE XX. 




SECTION HI. 
GRASSES. 

" And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed. 
And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed." 

Gtn. i. 11-12. 

In drawing this little volume on the native plants to a 
conclusion, though many have been left unnoticed or un- 
known by me, I must say a few words respecting the grasses ; 
not, indeed, to add a botanical description of this most 
beautiful and graceful tribe of plants, which deserves a 
volume from the pen of one who has given greater attention 
to the subject, and which seems to me to require the know- 
ledge of a scientific botanist. To do justice to that I must 
confess I am not competent; any knowledge that I possess 
is simply that of an observer and a lover of the beautiful 
works of the Creator. 

The student of botany will not be content merely with 
my superficial, desultory way for acquiring a more intimate 
acquaintance with the productions of the forest and the 
field; and to such I would recommend a more particular 
study of our beautiful native wild grasses, including the 
rushes and the sedges. At present the field has not been 
entered upon fully, if even its very borders have been gleaned, 
unless by that industrious and indefatigable botanist, Pro- 
fessor John Macoun, whom we might well call the Father 
of Canadian Botany. 

But though I cannot venture to treat the subject of the 
grasses as a botanist, I cannot pass them by without intro- 
H 209 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

ducing a few of the lovely, graceful things to the notice of 
my readers. And if my remarks should prove rather desul- 
tory in their range from prairie to forest, and from field to 
lake or to swampy bank of creek or marsh, I beg my friends 
to bear with me a little while. 

Drooping gracefully in wide branching panicles, we find 
on our wild plains a soft pale-flowered grass, known by the 
Indians as Deer-grass, Sorghum nutans (Gray), in the herb- 
age of which the deer found (for it is a thing of the past) 
both food and shelter. The husk or glumes of this beautiful 
grass are hairy or minutely silky, which gives a peculiar 
soft grayish tint to the bending pedicels of the pale spikelets. 
The culm is from three to four feet high, the leaves hairy at 
the margins. 

Another grass, Andropogon furcatus ( Muhl. ) , more showy 
but not so graceful, being more upright in its habit of 
growth, differs very much from the above. This grass 
is tall, jointed, stiff er in the stem; leaves of a brighter 
green; heads of flowers spiked, but also branching; glumes 
of a rich red-brown, made more conspicuous by the bright 
golden yellow anthers. This grass is also a plain grass, and 
is known by the same familiar name as the former; the 
Indians say, " Yes, both deergrass ; deer like that, too." It 
was to increase the growth of this grass that the Indians, at 
intervals of time, set fire to the Eice Lake plains on the 
high plateau of land to the eastward, where there was a 
great feeding ground for the deer and their fawns. For 
many years this tract of land was covered with oak brush, 
with only a few old trees that had escaped being injured by 
the fire. Now, indeed, we have noble oaks of many species, 
fine branching, well developed trees of white, black, red, 
scarlet, and overcup oaks, that adorn the plains and form 
avenues of the concessions and sidelines, most ornamental 

210 



GRASSES 

and grateful to the eye of the traveller. It must have been 
nearly a century ago since these plains were last burnt over 
not within the memory of the oldest settler in the town- 
ship of Hamilton. Yet deep down, some six or seven feet 
below the surface, the charred remains of oaks are found to 
prove the truth of the Indian name, " The Lake of the 
Burning Plains." Indian names have always some founda- 
tion; adopted from peculiar circumstances, they have 
acquired a sort of historical value among the people. 

The name of " Bice Lake " is derived from the fields of 
Wild Kice, Zizania aquatica (L.), which abound in the 
shallower waters of this fine inland sheet of water, and 
give the appearance of low verdant islands clothing its 
waters. When the Eice is ripened and the leaves faded a 
golden tint comes over the aquatic field, and the low Rice 
islands, as they catch the rays of the sun, take the form of 
sands glowing with yellow light. Where the water is low 
these Rice beds increase so as nearly to fill the shallow 
lakes and impede the progress of boats, changing the channel 
and altering the aspect of the waters. 

In the month of June the tender green spikes of the leaves 
begin to appear; in July the Rice begins to push up its 
stiff, upright stalk, sheathed within the folds of which are 
the delicate, fragile flowers; from the slender glumes the 
beautiful straw-colored and 'purple anthers hang down, 
fluttering in the breeze which stirs the grassy leaves that 
float loosely upon the surface of the water, rising and falling 
with every movement. The plant grows in lakes, ponds, and 
other waters where the current is not very strong, to the 
depth of from three to eight feet or even deeper. The grassy 
or ribbon-like flexible leaves are very long. I remember a 
gentleman who was rowing me across the lake drew up one 
at a chance on his oar and measured it, the length being 

Ha 211 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

eleven feet; but with the culm and flower it would have 
measured twelve or thirteen feet in length. 

The month of September or later, in October, is the 
Indian's Kice harvest. The grain, which is long and narrow 
and of an olive green or brown tinge, is then ripe. The 
Indian woman (they do not like to be called squaws since 
they have become Christians) pushes her light bark canoe 
or skiff to the edge of the Kice beds, armed not with a 
sickle, but with a more primitive instrument a short, thin- 
bladed, somewhat curved wooden paddle, with which she 
strikes the heads of ripe grain over a stick which she holds 
in her other hand, directing the strokes so as to let the grain 
fall to the bottom of the canoe; and thus the Wild Rice 
crop is reaped to give pleasant, nourishing and satisfying 
food to her hungry family. 

There are many -ways of preparing dishes of Indian Eice : 
as an ingredient for savory soups or stews ; or with milk, 
sugar and spices, as puddings; but the most important 
thing to be observed in cooking the article is steeping the 
grain pouring off the water it is steeped in and the first 
water it is boiled in, which removes any weedy taste from 
it. It used to be a favorite dish at many tables, but it is 
more difficult to obtain now. 

The grain, when collected, is winnowed in wide baskets 
from the chaff and weedy matter, parched by a certain 
process peculiar to the Indians, and stored in mats or rough 
boxes made from the bark of the birch tree the Indian's 
own tree. Formerly we could buy the Indian Kice in any 
of the grocery stores at 7s. 6d. per bushel, but it is much 
more costly now, as the Indians find it more difficult to 
obtain. Confined to their villages, they have no longer the 
resources that formerly helped to maintain them. The birch- 
bark canoe is now a thing of the past ; the Wild Rice is now 

212 



GRASSES 

only a luxury in their houses; by and by the Indians also 
will disappear from their log houses and villages and be 
known only as a people that were but are not. I am not 
aware of any other edible grain that is indigenous to Canada. 
The Foxtail, Setaria viridis (Beauv.), indeed, has hard 
seeds, but it is utilized only in some places, where it abounds 
to the farmer's great disgust, as food for his hogs and fowls. 

The marsh-growing Redtop or Herd Grass, Agrostis vul- 
garis (With.), is used as hay. We have many other wild, 
coarse grasses also that are harvested, and the prairies 
abound with nutritious plants of this order which are a 
great resource for the support of the cattle during all 
seasons. What would become of the settler's beasts in the 
North-west provinces but for the prairie hay? Very beauti- 
ful varieties of the lovely prairie grasses have been gathered 
by kind friends and sent to me from this " Wild North 
Land." 

One, the cruel Arrow Grass, Stipa spartea (Trin.), is a 
great nuisance to the settler, the barbed shaft, with curi- 
ously twisted awns, piercing hands and feet or insinuating 
its hard points into the flesh or clothing. The long, 
twisted arrows of this grass have a curious fashion of wind- 
ing themselves together, forming a sort of hard rope; the 
barbed seed lies below, attached to these twisted arrows. 
There is also on the prairies a wild grass known by the 
descriptive name of Porcupine Grass; possibly the Arrow 
Grass may be the same plant with another name. But 
turning from this uninviting Prairie Pest, as the settlers 
call it, I would call attention to the useful and sweet-scented 
Indian Grass, which supplies the poor Indian woman with 
the material which she weaves into such lovely, tasteful, 
ornamental baskets, now almost her only resource for 
materials for her basket-work, by which industry she can 
earn a small addition to her scanty means of obtaining food 

213 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 

and clothing. Were it not going beyond the bounds of my 
subject, I might plead earnestly in behalf of my destitute 
and too much neglected Indian sisters and dwell upon 
their wants and trials; but this theme would lead me too 
far away from my subject. The Indian Grass, so called, 
Hierochloa borealis (Boem. & Sch.), is little known in its 
native state, as it is only the Indians themselves who know 
where to seek for it. This is among lonely lakes and forest 
haunts. The soil where it grows is in low sandy flats, especi- 
ally on shores where the soil is composed of disintegrated, 
friable rocks, reduced to gritty, coarse sand, where it can 
push out its slender white running roots most freely; and 
there it sends up, early in May, its culms and light panicles 
of shining flowers. The glossy straw-colored plumes and 
purple anthers make this grass a very lovely object. The 
leaves, too, are of a shining bright full green. It is the 
earliest of any of the grasses to push up its pointed blades 
above the ground ; and, so far as my knowledge of the plant 
goes, for I have had it in my garden for many, many years, 
it is the earliest to blossom. Only when dried, or rather 
withered, does it give out its sweet scent, which it retains 
for years. 

I have braided the long ribbon-like leaves and made 
dinner-mats of them, and also chains tied with colored 
ribbon, after the Indian fashion, and sent them to friends 
in the Old Country to lay like lavender in their drawers. 
One thing I must observe of the Indian Sweet Grass, 
although it grows readily, and flourishes in any odd corner 
of the garden in which you plant it, it rarely puts forth a 
flowering stem; nor can I account for this, unless it may be 
the absence of some specialty in the native soil that is lack- 
ing, and for the need of which it may grow luxuriantly as 
to leaf but bring no fruit to perfection. 

Among the common wild grasses, we have many kinds, 

214 



GEASSES 

known by such expressive names as Kedtop, Blue Joint, 
Herd-grass, Beaver Meadow Grass, Wild Oats, Wild 
Barley, Foxtail, Squirreltail, Poverty Grass, Cock's-foot, 
Couch or Spear Grass, Millet, with many others, named or 
unnamed, that are peculiar to certain localities, in open 
fields, in the shade of the forest, the thicket, the banks of 
creeks, in water, or on dry waste lands. There is no spot 
but has some grass, or rush, or sedge, or reed; they spring 
up by the water-courses, on the dry parched sands of desert 
places, and in our path by the wayside; thus we find this 
lowly herb, under some distinguishing form, wherever we 
go. Is it not intended as a silent monitor to remind us of 
the frailty of our earthly being, by bringing back to us the 
words of the Psalmist : " As for man, his days are as grass ; 
as a flower of the field so he flourisheth : for the wind passeth 
over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it 
no more." Psalms ciii. 

How often in the inspired words do we find similar 
allusions made to the grass in language alike practical and 
touching. 

" The voice said, Cry ! And he said, What shall I cry? 

" All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the 
flower of the field : 

" The grass withereth, the flower fadeth ; but the word of 
our God shall stand forever." Isaiah xl. 6-8. 

Thus the grass that we tread beneath our feet, as well as 
the fairest flower, has alike a significance and a teaching to 
lead us up to the throne of Him who makes the grandeur of 
the heavens above and the lowliest plant on earth to speak 
to us of His goodness, His wisdom and His fatherly care for 
all. Let me close with the lesson of faith that Christ the 
Lord himself gave to His disciples : " If God so clothe the 
grass of the field, .... shall He not much more clothe 
you, O ye of little faith?" 

215 



INDEX 



INDEX 



Actaa, alba, 32 

Actaa spicata, 32 

Adder's Tongue, 33 ; White-flowered, 

34 

Agrostis vulgar is, 213 
Alder, Black, 205 
Allium trie oc cum, 49 
Alum-root, 59 

Amaranth, 137; Rough, 208 
Amaryllis lutea, 24, 79, 
Amelanchier Canadensis, 163 
American Brooklime, 57 
American Guelder-rose, 196 
American Hazelnut, 151 
American Snakeroot, 20 
Andromeda polifolia, 192 
Andropogon furcatus, 210 
Anemone, Wood, 20 et seq.; Tall, 

22; Crocus, 23 
Anemone cylindrica, 22 
Anemone dichotoma, 21 
Anemone nemorosa, 20 
Anemone patens, var Nuttalliana, 

23 

Anemone Virginiana, 22 
Antennaria dioica, in 
Antennaria margaritacea, 97, 113 
Antennaria neodioica, 112 
Antennaria plantaginifolia, 112 
Antirrhinum, 138 
Apios tuberosa, 95, 109 
Apocynum andros ami folium, 101 
Apocynum cannabinum, 102, 103 
Apocynums, 97, 101, 102 
Aquilegia Canadensis, 39 
Aracea, 27 
Aralia Canadense, 44 
Aralia nudicaulis, 92 
Aralia quinque 'folia, 93 
Aralia racemosa, 91 
Aralia trifolia, 93 
Arbutus, 117, 150 
Arctostaphylos Uva-ursi, 119, 140 
Arethusa bulbosa, 105 



Arisama Dracontium, 26 
Aris&ma purpureum, 26 
Arisama triphyllum, 15, 16, 27 
Arrow-head, 90, 91 
Arrow-leaved Violet, 4 
Arrowroot, 28 
Arrow-wood, Indian, 199 
Arum, 26; Spotted, 27 
Arum maculatum, 27 
Arum mucronatum, 27 
Asclepias Cornuti, 96 
Asclepias tuberosa, 95 
Asclepiadacea, 101 
Ash, Prickly, 166 
Asphodel Lily, 35 
Aster, 75, no, 114, 116, 135 
/4.yter astivus, 115 
^4jf^r cordifolius, 115 
Aster multifiorus, 115 
/4j^r puniceus, 115 

Balsam, Canadian, 37, 84, 202; Wild,. 

84 

Baneberry, 10, 32; Red, 32 
Barley, Wild, 215 
Batatas edulis, 89 
Beaked Hazelnut, 151 
Bean, Sweet, 95; Wild, 95; Indian,. 

109 

Bearberry, 119, 140, 146 
Beard-tongue, 138 
Bellflower, Rough-stemmed, 81 
Bellwort, 32 
Bergamot, Wild, 130 
Betony, Wood, 17 
Bindweed, 104 
Birth root, 36 
Bishop's Cap, 15 
Bittersweet, Climbing, 146, 189 et 

seq.; English, 191; Indian, 191 
Black Alder, 205 
Black Hawthorn, 178 
Black Raspberry, 180 
Blackberry, 97, 186; Swamp, 186 



219 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 



Blazing Star, 134 

Blitum Bonus Henricus, 137 

Blitum capitatum, 136 

Blood-root, n, 37 

Blue Cohosh, 10, 32 

Blueberry, 169; Dwarf, 169; Swamp, 

170 

Boneset, 123-125 

Branching White Wood Violet, 6 
Briar Rose, 187 
Brooklime, American, 57 
Bryony, Black, 190 
Bunchberry, 52 
Buttercup, Tall, 13 
Butterfly Weed, 95 
Button-bush, 200 
Button Snakeroot, 133 

Calathian Violet, 142-146 

Calopogon, Grass-pink, 104, 181 

Calopogon pulchellus, 104, 181 

Caltha palustris, 15, 56 

Calypso borealis, 105, 181 

Campanula, 66, 82 

Campanula Americana, 81 

Campanula aparinoides, 81 

Campanula rotundifoUa, 80 

Canada Blueberry, 169 

Canadian Balsam, 37, 84, 202 

Cardinal Flower, 138 

Cashew-nut, 203 

Cassava, 28 

Castilleia coccinea, 40, 41, 64, 68, 

'A 

Castilleia miniata, 41 
Catnip, 130 

Caulophyllum thalactroides, 10 
Ceanothus Americanus, 158 
Celandinie, 19 

Celastrus scandens, 146, 189 
Cephalanthus occidentals, 200 
Chamomile, 114 
Checkerberry, 117 
Cherry, Dwarf, 164; Sand, 164; 

Wild Black, 166; Wild Red, 166 
Chelone glabra, 138 
Chenopodium album, 137 
Chickweed Wintergreen, 60 
Chimaphila umbellata, 67 
Chinese Tea Plant, 159 
Chiogenes hispidula, 168, 169 
Choke-cherry, 165 
Chrysanthemum, 1 14 
Circaa alpina, 100 
Cistus, 83 



Cladonia, 75 

Clary, 43 

Claytonia Caroliniana, 24 et seq. 

Clay Ionia Virginica, 24 et seq. 

Clematis, Wild, 174 

Climbing Bittersweet, 146, 189 et seq. 

Closed Gentian, 144 

Clover, Yellow, 82 

Cohosh, Blue, 10, 32 ; Red, 32 ; White, 

32 

Coltsfoot, Yellow, 114 
Columbine, Rock, 39, 40 ; Wild, 39, 40 
Common Mullein, 131 
Comptonia asplenifolia, 157-159 
Coneflower, 115, 116 
Convolvulus, White Dwarf, 103 
Convolvulus spitham&us, 103 
Coptis trifolia, 51, 52 
Coral-root, 106 
Corallorhiza striata, 106 
Coreopsis, 116 
Cornel, 53, 140; Low, 66; Panicled, 

193; Silky, 193 
Cornus Canadensis, 52, 194 
Cornus circinata, 53 
Cornus Uorida, 53, 194 
Cornus paniculata, 193 
Cornus sericea, 193 
Cornus stolonifera, 194 
Corpse Plant, 141 
Corydalis aurea, 31 
Corydalis glauca, 31 
Corylus Americana, 151 
Corylus rostrata, 151, 152 
Cowslip, Water, 15 
Cranberry, 74, 180 et seq.; High- 
bush, 146, 196; Small, 180; 

Marsh, 180, 197; Low-bush, 181, 

192 

Cranesbill, 58, 60 
CratcEgus coccinea, 179 
Cratagus oxyacantha, 180 
Cratagus tomentosa, 178 
Cream-fruit, 101 
Creeping Spearwort, 14 
Crowfoot, 10, 13, in; Water, 14; 

Yellow Water, 14; White Water, 

14 

Cuckoo-pint, 29 
Currant, 160; Trailing Hairy, 162; 

Wild Black, 162; Wild Red, 163 
Cuscuta Gronovii, 108 
Cypripedium, 44 et seq- 
Cypripedium acaule, 46 
Cypripedium arictinum, 45, 46 



220 



INDEX 



Cypripedium parviflorum, 47 

Cypripedium pubescens, 46, 47, 68, 

80 

Cypripedium spectabile, 45 

Daffodil, Wood, 32 

Damson, 165 

Dandelion, 115, 127, 128 

Daphne Mezereum, 149 

Day-flower, 103 

Death-flower, 35; White, 36; Red, 

36 

Dicentra, 30 
Dicentra Canadensis, 29 
Dicentra cucullaria, 31 
Diervilla trifida, 155 
Diplopappus umbellatus, 115 
Dirca palustris, 148 
Dockmackie, Maple-leaved, 198 ; 

Larger, 199 

Dodder, Golden, 52, 108 
Dogbane, 97, 101 ; Spreading, 101 

194; Red Osier, 194 
Dog-rose, 184 
Dog-tooth Violet, 33 
Dog Violet, 5 

Dogwood, 52, 66, 193; Flowering, 
Douro Lily, 35 
Downy Yellow Violet, 5 
Drosera longifolia, 73 
Drosera rotundifolia, 73 
Dutchman's Breeches, 30 
Dwarf Blueberry, 169 
Dwarf Cherry, 164 
Dwarf Ginseng, 93 
Dwarf Wild Rose, 188 

Early Crowfoot, 13 
Early-flowering Everlasting, III, 114 
Early Everlasting, 19, in, 114 
Early White Violet, 2, 3 
Early Wild Rose, 187 
Easter Flower, 35 
Echinacea pur pur ea, 116 
Edelweiss, in 

Elder, Black-berried, 152, 157; Red- 
berried, 152; Poison, 152, 200 
Eleocharis acicularis, 14 
Enchanter's Nightshade, 100 
Endive, Wild, 128 
Epigaa rep ens, 150 
Epilobium angustifolium, 97 
Ericacea, 66, 181 
Erythronium albidum, 34 
Erythronium Americanum, 33 



Eupatorium ageraioides, 123, 124 

Eupatorium perfoliatum, 123, 124 

Eupatorium purpureum, 123 

Eupatorium, White, 114 

Euphorbia, 28 

Evening Primrose, 98 

Everlasting, Early, 19, in, 114; 
White, 97; Neglected, 112; Plan- 
tain-leaved, 112; Pearly, 113 

Eye-bright, 43 

False Foxglove 1 132 

False Honeysuckle, 155 

False Mitrewort, 16 

False Solomon's Seal, 54 

Fern, 157 

Feverbush, 149 

Filbert, 151 

Fireweed, 97, 114 

Flag, Large Blue, 61 

Flax, Wild, 83; Yellow, 83 

Fleabane, 114 

Fleur-de-Luce, 61, 62 

Flowering Wintergreen, 17, 18 

Fly-flower, 18, 31 

Forget-me-not, 57 

Fox Grape, 175 

Foxglove, False, 132, 133 

French Willow, 98 

Fringed Gentian, 143, 145 

Frost Grape, 173 

Frost Plant, 83 

Fumitory, 29 ; Golden, 31 

Galium, 82 

Gall of the Earth, 120 

Gaultheria procumbens, 117, 169 

Garlic, Wild, 49, 50 

Gayfeather, 133, 134 

Gem-flower, 16 

Gentian, Alpine, 142 ; Dwarf Fringed, 
143, 145; Five-flowered, 142, 
143, 145; Closed, 144; Soap- 
wort, 142 

Gentiana Andrewsii, 143, 144 

Gentiana crinita, 143, 145 

Gentiana detonsa, 143 

Gentiana Pneumonanthe, 143 

Gentiana quinquefolia, 145 

Gentiana Saponaria, 142, 144 

Geranium maculatum, 58 

Gerardia, 132, 133, 138; Oak-leaved, 

133 

Geranium pusillum, 60 
Geranium Robertianum, 59 



221 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 



Geranium, Scarlet, 41; Wood, 58-60 

Gerardia pedicularia, 133 

Gerardia purpurea, 132 

Gerardia quercifolia, 132, 133 

Giant-taper, 131 

Ginger, Wild, 44 

Ginseng, 93 ; Dwarf, 93 

Gnaphalium decurrens, 113 

Gnaphalium polycephalum, 112 

Gold Thread, 51 

Goldenrod, 75, 134; Lesser, 109 

Golden Fumitory, 31 

Golden Dodder, 52, 108 

Good King Henry, 137 

Goodyera pubescens, 85 

Gooseberry, Wild Smooth, 160; 
Prickly, 161 ; Small Swamp, 162 

Grape, Frost, 1 73-175; Fox, 175; 
Isabella, 175 

Grass Pink, 104, 181 

Grass, Scorpion, 57; Deer, 210; 
Arrow, 213; Foxtail, 213, 215; 
Redtop, 213, 214; Herd, 213, 
215; Indian, 213, 214; Porcu- 
pine, 213; Prairie Pest, 213; 
Poverty, 215; Cock's-foot, 215; 
Couch, 215; Spear, 215; Blue 
Joint, 215; Beaver Meadow, 
215; Squirreltail, 215 

Ground Nut, 95 

Guelder Rose, American, 196 

Habenaria fimbriata, 107 

Habenaria viridis, 107 

Hairy Yellow-flowered Honeysuckle, 

155 

Hairy Woodsia, 75 
Hardhack, 75 ,183 
Harebell, 80, 107 
Hawkweed, 114 

Hawthorn, Black, 178; English, 179 
Hazelnut, Beaked, 151; English 

Wild, 151 ; American, 151 
Healall, 130 
Heath, 117, 169, 181 
Helianthemum Canadense, 83 
Helianthus strigosus, 126 
Hemp, Indian, 101, 103 
Hepatica, 8 et seq. 
Hepatica acutiloba, 8, 9 
Hepatica triloba, 8, 9 
Heptandria, 60 
Herb Robert, 59 
Hierochloa borealis, 214 
High-bush Cranberry, 146, 196 



Hobble-bush, 198 

Holly, 191, 205 et seq.; Mountain, 
208 

Honeysuckle, 71, 157; Bush, 153; 
Fly, 154; False, 155; Hairy Yel- 
low-flowered, 155 ; Small-flow- 
ered, 154; Twin-flowered, 153, 
156 

Hooded Violet, 3 

Horsemint, 130 

Huckleberry, 117, 143, 164, 169 

Hulme, 205 

Humming-bird Flower, 84 

Hyacinth, Wood, 29 

Hya-hya, 101 



verticillata, 146, 205 
Imp aliens fulva, 84, 202 
Impatiens pallida, 84 
Indian Arrow-wood, 199 
Indian Bean, 109 
Indian Bittersweet, 191 
Indian Grass, 213, 214 
Indian Hemp, 101, 103 
Indian Pipe, 141 
Indian Potato, 95 
Indian Strawberry, 136 et seq. 
Indian Tobacco, 140 
Indian Turnip, 26 et seq. 
Iris versicolor, 61, 62 
Ivy, Poison, 84, 152, 200 et seq. 

Jack-in-the- Pulpit, 29 
Jatropha manihot, 28 
Jessamine, White, 195 
Jewel Weed, 84 
June-berry, 163 

Kalmia glauca, 74 
Kingcup, 19 
Kinnikinnic, 140, 193, 195 

Labiatce, 130 

Labrador Tea, 74^ 159, 191, 

Lady's Bed-straw, 82 

Lady's Slipper, 44; Showy, 45 

Stemless, 46; Yellow, 47 
Lady's Tresses, Slender, 85 
Lamb's Quarters, 137 
Large Blue Flag, 0i 
Lathyrus palustris, 94 
Laurel, 150; Spurge, 149 
Laurestinus, 198 
Leatherwood, 148 
Ledum latifolium, 74, 159, 191 



222 



INDEX 



Ledum palustre, 192 

Leek, Wild, 49 

Leontopodium alpinum, in 

Lesser Snowy Trillium, 36 

Lettuce, Wild, 116, 119, 128 

Liatris, 127 

Liatris cylindracea, 133 

Liatris scariosa, 134 

Lilium candidunij 78 

Lilium Philadelphicum, 78, 79 

Lilium pomponium, 79 

Lily of the Valley, Wild, 66 

Lily, 54, 79, 86 et seq.\ Tiger, 30; 
Tiger, 30; Golden, of Palestine, 
79; Wild Orange, 78; Orange, 
79, 134; of the Nile, 89 

Lion's-foot, 120 

Lindera Benzoin, 149 

Linnaea, 66, 69 et seq. 

Linnaa borealis, 69, 71 

Linum sulcatum, 83 

Liver-Leaf, 8, 10 

Lobelia cardinalis, 138 

Lobelia inflata, 140 

Lobelia, Red, 138; Blue, 139 

Lobelia syphilitica, 139 

Lobelia spicata, 140 

Long-spurred Violet, 5 

Lonicera ciliata, 153 

Lonicera hirsuta, 155 

Lonicera parviflora, 154 

Loose-strife, 107 

Lords and Ladies, 29 

Lotus, 89 

Lousewort, 17 

Love-Lies-Bleeding, 137 

Lungwort, Blue, 107 

Lupine, 48, 68, 104, 134 

Lupinus perennis, 68, 80 

Madder, 200 

Mad-dog Skullcap, 93 

Madzaryoum, 149 

Mandrake, 55 

Maple-leaved Dogmackie, 198 

Marigold, Marsh, 15, 56 

Marsh Marigold, 15, 56 

Marsh Pea, 94 

Marsh Speedwell, 57 

Marsh Vetchling, 94 

Maruta Co tula, 125 

May-apple, 55 

Mayflower, 150 

Mayweed, 125 

Meadowsweet, Willow-leaved, 182 



Mertensia mantima, 107 

Mezereum, Daphne, 149 

Mignonette, Wood, 16 

Milktree, 101 

Milkweed, Pink-flowered, 96 ; 

Shrubby, 101 

Milkwort, 17; Slender Purple, 20 
Millet', 215 
Mimulus, 93 

Mimulus ringens, 93, 138 
Mint, 66, 130; Mountain, 159 
Miskodeed, 24 
Mitchella ripens, 195 
Mitella diphylla, 15 
Mitella nuda, 15 
Mitrewprt, 15; False, 16 
Mocassin Flower, 44, 47, 68, 80, 134; 

Pink-flowered, 45; Hairy, 47; 

Lesser-flowered, 47 
Monarda fistulosa, 130 
Moneses uniHora i 67 
Monkey-flower, 93, 138 
Monotropa Hypo pity s, 141 
Monotropa uniHora, 141 
Moose-flower, 35 
Moosewood, 148 
Moostoos Ootasee, 17 
Morning Glory, 103, 174 
Moss, Lake Erie, 51 ; Sphagnous, 71 ; 

Peat, 74; White Peat, 74, 75 
Moss Pink, 51 
Mountain Holly, 208 
Mouse-root, 79 
Mulberry, Wild, 184 
Mullein, Common, 131, 208 
My os otis palustris, 57 
Myrica Gale, 74, 158 
Myricacea, 157 

Nabalus albus, 119 
Nabalus altissimus, 120 
Narcissus, 79 
Nasturtium, 85 
Neglected Everlasting, 112 
Nelumbium luteum, 89 
Nelumbium speciosum, 89 
Nemopanthes Canadensis, 208 
Nepenthes distillatoria, 77 
New Jersey Tea, 158 
Nodding Trillium, 35 
Nuphar advena, 86, 90 
Nuphar Kalmiana, 86 
Nuphar lutea, 86 
Nymphsea, White, 86 
Nymphaa Lotus, 89 



223 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 



Nymphaa odorata, 86, 88 
Nymphcea tuberosa, 86 

Oak', Poison, 152, 200 

Oats, Wild, 215 

(Enothera biennis, 98 

(Enothera pumila, 99 

One-flowered Pyrola, 67 

One-sided Pyrola, 65 

Orange Lily, 79, 134 

Orchid, 45, 48, 76, 85, 104 et seq.; 
Fringed Pink, 107; Pearly 
White, 107 

Orchis, 44, 74, 105 et seq>; Ram's- 
head, 45; Showy, 48; Beautiful, 
48; Bird's-foot, 105; Small 
Round-leaved, 105; Striped, 106; 
Larger Fringed, 107; Northern 
Green-man, 107; Pink Fringed, 
107; White-fringed, 107 

Orchis spectabilis, 48 

Osrnunda regalis, 75 

Oxalis Acetosella, 82 

Oxalis stricta, 82 

Painted Cup, 40 et seq. 

Painted Trillium, 38 

Panicled Cornel, 193 

Papoose-root, 10, n 

Partridgeberry, 195 

Pasque-flower, 23 

Pea, Marsh, 94 

Pear Thorn, 178 

Pearly Everlasting, 113 

Peat Moss, 74 

Pedicularis Canadensis, 17 

Pencilled Violet, 4, 5 

Pentstemon pubescent, 138 

Peppermint, 130 

Persicaria, Water, 90, 91 

Phlox, 50 

Phlox divaricata, 50, 51 

Pine Sap, 141 

Pink-flowered Moccasin Plant, 45 

Pipsissewa, 68 

Pitcher Plant, 74, 76, 192 

Plantain-leaved Everlasting, 112 

Plantain, Rattlesnake, 85 

Platanthera rotundifolia, 105 

Plum, 165 

Podophyllum peltatum, 55 

Poison Elder, 200 

Poison Ivy, 84, 152, 200 et seq. 

Poison Oak, 200 

Poison Sumac, 200 



Polygala, 18, 20 

Poly gala paucifolia, 17, 18 

Polygala polygama, 20 

Polygala Senega, 18, 20 

Polygonatum biilorum, 54 

Polygonum amphibium, 91 

Poly podium vulgar e, 75 

Polypody, Rock, 75 

Pond-lily, Yellow, 86, 90 

Pontederia cordata, 91 

Portland Arrow-root, 28 

Portland Sago, 27, 28 

Portulaca grandiHora, 129 

Portulaca oleracea, 129 

Potato, Sweet, 89; Indian, 95 

Prenanthes, 114 

Prickly Ash, 166 

Prickly Gooseberry, 161 

Primrose, Evening, 98 

Prince's Pine, 67 

Privet-leaved Cornel, 193 

Prunella vulgaris, 130 

Prunus pumila, 164 

Primus Virginiana, 165 

Pulse, 68 

Purple-scented Raspberry, 183 

Purple Trillium, 36 

Purslane, 129 

Pyrola, One-sided, 65; Round- 
leaved Lesser, 65; One-flowered, 
67; Sweet, 104, 135 

Pyrola chlorantha, 66 

Pyrola elliptica, 63, 64, 67, 80 

Pyrola rotundifolia, 65 

Pyrola secunda, 65 

Ragroot, 114 
Ragwort, 114 
Ram's-head Orchis, 45 
Rammculacea, 9, 10, 14 
Ranunculus, 10; Alpine, 118 
Ranunculus acris, 13 
Ranunculus aquatilis, 14 
Ranunculus fascicularis, 13 
Ranunculus multifidus, 14 
Ranunculus rep tans, 14 
(Raspberry, 183 et seq. ; Wild Red, 

97, 184; Purple Scented, 183; 

White Flowering, 184; Black, 

186 

Rattlesnake Plantain, 85 
Rattlesnake Root, 119 
Red-berried Elder, 152 
Red Baneberry, 32 
Red Cohosh, 32 



224 



INDEX 



Red Death-flower, 36 

Red Osier Dogwood, 194 

Red root, 158 

Redtop, 213 

Rheumatism Weed, 68 

Rhus copallina, 205 

Rhus vlabra, 204, 205 

Rhus Toxicodendron, 152, 200 

Rhus typhina, 204 

Rhus venenata, 200 

Ribes Cynosbati, 161 

Ribes ftoridum, 162 

Ribes lacustre, 162 

Ribes oxyacanthoides, 160, 161 

Ribes prostratum, 162 

Ribes rubrum, 163 

Rice, Wild, 91, 211 

Rock Columbine, 39, 40 

Rock-rose, 83 

Rock Saxifrage, in 

Rosa blanda, 68, 187, 188 

Rosa Carolina, 189 

Rosa lucida, 187, 188 

Rosa micrantha, 189 

Rose-colored Spiraea, 183 

Rosemary, Wild, 192, 193 

Rose, Wild, 68, 75, 104, '107, 135; 
Sweet Briar, 184, 189; Damask, 
187; Early Wild, 187; Dwarf 
Wild, 187, 188; Swamp, 189 

Round-leaved Lesser Pyrola, 65 

Round-leaved Sundew, 73 

Rubus hispidus, 186 

Rubus Nutkanus, 184 

Rubus occidentalis } 186 

Rubus odofatus, 183 

Rubus strigosus, 184 

Rubus triflofuS; 187 

Rubus villosus, 186 

Rubiacece, 200 

Rudbeckia, no, 127 

Rudbeckia hirta, 115 

Sage, 17, 43 

Sago, Portland, 27, 28 

Salvia Sclarea, 43 

Sambucus Canadensis, 152 

Sambucus pub ens, 152 

Sand Cherry, 164 

Sanguinaria Canadensis, n 

Sarracenia purpurea, 74 et seq. 

Sarsaparilla, Wild, 92 ; Five-leaved, 

93 

Sassafras, 150 
Satin-flower, 19 



Saxifrage, 66; Rock, in 

Scarlet Cup, 40 et seq., 68, 104, 138 

Scarlet-fruited Thorn, 179 

Scutellaria galericulata, 94 

Scutellaria lateriflora, 93 

Senega, 17 

Serpentaria, 120 

Setaria viridis, 213 

Shadbush, 163 

Shamrock, 82 

Sheepberry, 164, 199 

Sheep-Laurel, 74 

Shin-leaf, 63 

Showy Lady's Slipper, 45 

Showy Orchis, 48 

Side-saddle Flower, 74 

Si Ik- weed, 96 

Silky Cornel, 193 

Skullcap, Mad-dog, 93; Common, 94 

Slender Lady's-tresses, 85 

Slender Purple Milkwort, 20 

Small Cranberry, 180 

Small-flowered Honeysuckle, 154 

Small Round-leaved Orchis, 105 

Small Swamp Gooseberry, 162 

Smiling Wake-robin, 35 

Smilacina bi folia, 66 

Smooth Dwarf Sumac, 205 

Snakehead, 138 

Snakeroot, 17; American, 20; White, 

124; Button, 133 
Snapdragon, 138 
Snowball Tree, 197 
Snowberry, 156; Creeping, 168 
Snowdrop, Wood, 141 
Snow-flower, 8 
Soldier's Drinking Cup, 76 
Solidago, 109 
Solidago gigantea, 135 
Solidago latifolia, 134, 135 
Solomon's Seal, False, 54 
Solanum dulcamara, 191 
Sorghum nutanSj 210 
Sow-thistle, 115 
Spatter Dock, 90 
Spearmint, 130 
Spearwort, Creeping, 14 
Speckled Jewel, 84 
Speedwell, 57 ; Marsh, 57 ; Water, 57 
Sphagnum cymbifolium, 74 
Spice Wintergreen, 117 
Spicebush, 149 
Spignet-root, 92 
Spikenard, 91 
Spinach, 136 



225 



STUDIES OF PLANT LIFE 



Spiraea, Rose-colored, 183 

Spircea salicifolia, 75, 182 

Spircea tomentosa, 75, 183 

Spircea Ulmaria, 182 

Spiranthes gracilis, 85 

Spreading Dogbane, 101 

Spring Beauty, 24 

Spurge Laurel, 149 

Squaw-berry, 52 

Squirrel Corn, 29 et seq. 

Squirreltail, 215 

Stag-horn Sumac, 204 

Stagmaria verniciHua, 203 

Starflower, 60 

Stemless Lady's Slipper, 46 

Stipa spar tea, 213 

Strawberry Elite, 136 

Strawberry, Wild, 19; Barren Wild, 

in; Indian, 136 et seq. 
Streptopus roseus, 54 
Strychnia, 101 
Sumac, Poison, 200; Stag-horn, 204; 

Smooth Dwarf, 205 
Sundew, Round-leaved, 73 
Sunflower, no, 115, 116, 126, 127; 

Wild, 126 
Swampberry, 187 
Swamp Blackberry, 186 
Swamp Blueberry, 170 
Sweetberry, 199 
Sweet Briar, 184, 189 
Sweet- fern, 157, 159 
Sweet-Gale, 74, 157, 158 
Sweet Potato, 89 
Sweet-scented Water Lily, 86 
Sweet Wintergreen, 63 
Symphoricarpus racemosus, 156 

Tall Buttercup, 13 

Tansy, 116 

Tapegrass, 89 

Tapioca, 29 

Taraxacum Dens-leonis, 127 

Teaberry, 117, 169 

Tea, New Jersey, 158 

Tea Plant, Chinese, 159 

Thimbleberry, 186 

Thimble-weed, 22 

Thistle, 114 

Thorn, Pear, 178; Scarlet-fruited, 

179; English White, 180 
Thornberry, 161 
Thoroughwort, 121, 123, 125 
Tiarella cordifolia, 16 
Tiger Lily, 30 



Tobacco, Indian, 140 

Touch-me-not, 84 

Trailing Arbutus, 150 

Trailing Hairy Currant, 162 

Trailing Wintergreen, 195 

Trientalis Americana, 60 

Trillium, 35 et seq., 134; Nodding, 
35; White, 35, 36, 48; Lesser 
Snowy, 36 ; Purple, 36 ; Red, 37 ; 
Painted, 38 

Trillium cernuum, 35 

Trillium erectum, 36 

Trillium er y thro car pum, 38 

Trillium grandiftorum, 35, 36, 68 

Trillium nivale, 36 

Turnip, Indian, 26 et seq. 

Turtlehead, 138 

Tussilago Far far a, 114 

Twinflower, 69, 157 

Twin-flowered Honeysuckle, 153, 156 

Twisted Stalk, 54 

Uvularia grandiHora, 32 
Uvular ia perfoliata, 33 
Uvularia sessilifolia, 33 

Vaccinium Canadense, 169 

Vaccinium corymbosum, 169, 170 

Vaccinium macrocarpon, 181 

Vaccinium Oxycoccus, 180 

Vaccinium Pennsylvanicum, 169 

Vallisneria spiralis, 89 

Verbascum Thapsus, 131 

Veronica, 57 

Veronica Americana, 57 

Vetch, 107 

Vetchling, Marsh, 94 

Viburnum acerifolium, 198 

Viburnum lantanoides, 198 

Viburnum Lentago, 164, 199 

Viburnum Opulus, 146, 196, 197 

Viola blanda, 2, 5 

Viola Canadensis, 6 

Viola canina, 5 

Viola clandestina, 3 

Viola cucullata, 3, in 

Viola Dicksoni, 3 

Viola odorata, 2 

Viola ovata, 4 

Viola prionosepala, 4 

Viola pubescens, 5 

Viola renifolia, 4 

Viola^rostrata, 5 

Viola sagittata, 4 

Viola subviscosa, 4 



226 



INDEX 



Violet, i et seq.; Early White, 2, 3; 
Hooded, 3; Wood, 3; Arrow- 
leaved, 4; Pencilled, 4, 5; Long 
Spurred 5; Dog, 5; Downy Yel- 
low, 5; Canada, 6; Branching 
White Wood, 6; Dog-tooth, 33; 
Blue, in 

Virburnum dentatum, 199 

Virginia Creeper, 202 

Vitis c or di folia, 173 

Vitis Labrusca, 175 

Vitis riparia, 173 

Wake-robin, Smiling, 35 
Waldsteinia fragarioides, ill 
Water-Lily, Sweet-scented, 86 ; 

White, 86, 90; Yellow, 89 
Water Persicaria, 90, 91 
Water Speedwell, 57 
Waxwork, 189 
White Cohosh, 32 
White Death-flower, 36 
White Dwarf Convolvulus, 103 
White-flowered Adder's-tongue, 34 
White Snakeroot, 124 
White Trillium, 35, 36, 48 
White Water Crowfoot, 14 
Wild Bean, 95 
Wild Bergamot, 130 
Wild Black Currant, 162 
Wild Columbine, 39, 40 
Wild Flax, 83 
Wild Garlic, 49 
Wild Ginger, 44 
Wild Leek, 49 
Wild Orange Lily, 78, 134 
Wild Red Currant, 163 
Wild Red Raspberry, 97, 184 
Wild Rice, 91, 211 



Wild Rosemary, 192, 193 

Wild Smooth Gooseberry, 160 

Wild Strawberry, 19, in, 136 et seq. 

Wild Sunflower, 126 

Willow-herb, 97 

Willow-leaved Meadowsweet, 182 

Wind Flower, 8, 21 

Winterberry, 146, 205 

Wintergreen, 17, 68, 80, 130, 140; 
Flowering, 17, 18; Chickweed, 
60; Sweet, 63; Spice, 117; Aro- 
matic, 117, 169; Box-leaved, 118; 
Trailing, 195 

Wood Anemone, 20 et seq. 

Wood Betony, 17 

Woodbine, 153 

Wood Daffodil, 32 

Wood Geranium, 58-60 

Wood Hyacinth, 29 

Wood Mignonette, 16 

Wood Snowdrop, 141 

Wood Violet, 3 

Woodsia, Hairy, 75 

Woodsia Ilvensis, 75 

Wood-sorrel, 82 ; Yellow-flowered, 
82 

Wycopy, 149 

Xanthoxylum Americanum, 166 

Yellow Coltsfoot, 114 
Yellow Flax, 83 

Yellow-flowered Wood Sorrel, 82 
Yellow Lady's Slipper, 47 
Yellow Pond Lily, 86, 90 
Yellow Water Crowfoot, 14 
Yellow wood, 167 

Zizania aquatica, 91, 211 



227 



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